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The Nares Strait thread

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The perennial question: when will the Nares Strait ice bridge break up?

Here’s a teaser: looks like the Navy HYCOM ice thickness maps show mass movement there next week.  Run 3/28/2013, valid 3/29 to 4/5.

See if this one plays out!

In the visible spectrum, the Northwater Polynya is pretty large this year and reaches well into Kane Basin.  So I'd expect the basin to break up easily in response to strong currents or a strong tide.  But Nares north of the basin can hold on longer - what were the temperatures like over the winter in that area (relative to normal)?

This is a great subject for a thread! Even though - correct me if I'm wrong - Nares can only constitute 10% of the transport that Fram is capable of, its arches are to me still one of the most fascinating things to watch in the Arctic. I always reserve a blog post for their collapse.

As a primer I recommend this piece by Patrick Lockerby, the first blogger to actively start writing about the Arctic: The Broken Bridges of Nares.

Here's my post on the collapse on June 17th 2011. And last year on June 27th. Here's the first animation I made of Nares Strait on June 14th 2010 (no arches that year if I remember correctly).

And don't miss out on Andreas Münchow's blog, as he is a true Nares expert: Icy Seas

Here we are as of March 31, 2013.  One floe recently broken off; the nearby edge irregularities look ready to go.  No visible cracks, but lots of shadows in the ice in the center-right of the pic.

Andreas Muenchow:
The ice-bridge of Nares Strait will probably no collapse until mid-June as that's what it usually does. It formed much earlier this winter and had more time to become consolidated from when it formed back in November or so. Its current location is indeed farther north and, I believe, perhaps relates to the grounded Petermann Ice Island that formed in July 2012. With the sun low in the south, you can see the shadow that the freeboard if the ice-island casts in the north-eastern quadrant of the ice-bridge.

Good fun to watch and puzzle over what is happening up there, I could not agree more and post weekly re-processed, geo-located mappings of Nares Strait MODIS imagery. If anyone wants the ascii data in columns of latitude, longitude, band-1, band-2, ..., band-36 for any particular day or scene, let me know and I put it up for your pleasure  ;)


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