Sea ice physical processes and biological linkages within the North Water polynya during 1998

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Mundy, C. J.
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Sea ice is a major component of the Earth's climate system and is believed to be a sensitive indicator of climate change. The North Water (NOW) refers to a region of anomalous sea ice conditions at the northern end of Baffin Bay. The dynamic sea ice cover is due to the presence of the NOW polynya. An explanation for the polynya's occurrence has yet to be confirmed. In this the is I studied the spatial and temporal patterns of sea ice cover within the North Water (NOW) in the context of polynya formation and maintenance mechanisms. Further, biological implications of the NOW's sea ice cover patterns were examined. To accomplish this I developed a sea ice classification scheme for RADARSAT-1 ScanSAR imagery obtained throughout 1998. I extracted sea ice type and concentration and constructed a Geographic Information System (GIS) database for analysis of spatial and temporal trends in sea ice cover over this annual cycle. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)