Polynyas in the Canadian Arctic

Published 16 July 2014

Analysis of MODIS Sea Ice Temperature Data Between June 2002 and July 2013

Using daily sea ice temperature grids produced from MODIS optical satellite imagery, polynya occurrences in the Canadian Arctic and Northwest Greenland were mapped with a spatial resolution of one square kilometer and a temporal resolution of one week. The eleven year dataset was used to identify and measure locations with a high probability of open water occurrence. This approach appears to be most suitable for the spring months, when polynyas and shore leads represent the only open water in the region. An analysis of the results at several geographic scales reveals considerable yearly variation in polynya extents, although the relatively short period studied makes identifying trends rather difficult.

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