Examination of Sea Ice Cover in Norwegian Fjords
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Presented are two steps being taken to examine sea ice coverage in Norwegian fjords as part of a larger study to improve our understanding of ice formation and breakup processes in these regions and implications for oil spill response. First, working with Google Earth Engine, MODIS images will be analyzed to determine where and when seasonal ice formation occurred along the Norwegian coastline since 2000. Here we summarize a simple method developed to quantify ice area in these regions to examine trends through the ice season and between years. While the larger study will cover a number of fjords, as an example focus is placed on Efjord, located in Nordland county, which has experienced large variations in ice coverage between years. We discuss the use of other datasets to determine the causes of such fluctuations focusing on the close relationship between run-off and ice cover in Efjord. Second, measurements of water temperature and salinity and ice thickness, stratigraphy, and salinity will be gathered over a three year period to better understand the ice observed in the MODIS images. The first set of measurements collected in November 2017 before freeze up are discussed below. In addition, initial images collected from time lapse cameras positioned to observe general weather and ocean conditions and the initial freeze up of ice are presented.