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DRAFT!!      DRAFT!!      DRAFT!!

Posted November 1, 2013

By Elizabeth Dobbins, Research Scientist, UAF

The End is Nigh

I haven't posted lately because, frankly, conditions have changed little since the Oct. 7 synopsis. The ice hovers offshore and the flow on the shelf remains stagnant due to weak winds. Nevertheless, the end of the season is coming. In the last 24 hours, ice formation west of Barrow has begun to impede returns from the HFR array.

NWS ice predictions Oct. 28

NOAA's NWS prediction of sea ice , Oct. 28, 2013. (click image to enlarge)


According to the ice prediction map from the NWS and SAR imagery (not shown), a tongue of ice was advected into Barrow Canyon. This ice was not a solid mass, so did not affect HFR returns until is solidified recently.

MODIS imgery of Barrow

MODIS image of ice north of Barrow, AK, Oct. 31, 2013. (click image to enlarge)


MODIS real-color imagery is disappearing from the region due to the lack of daylight. This may be one of the last images this year.

The tongue of ice can be seen moving though the Statoil and Burger oil prospects, and ice can be seen in the Beaufort as well.


Drifters in Siberia


Drifters beaching in Siberia

iSPHERE (green) and Microstar (beige) track lines with initial (green) and final (red) positions


This year, drifters have tended to drift westward, with many of them making the trip all the way to Siberia. Two iSPHERE drifters made the trip in ~20 days. Recently, Microstar drifters from the same deployment beached in the same area after 60-70 days at sea. This latter group took an extended detour to Herald Shoal, moving on after a wind event blew them off.

All the drifters that have beached in Siberia have done so in the vicinity of Kolyuchinskaya Bay.

Drifters headed to Siberia

Track lines from two Microstar (beige) drifters with initial (green) and current (blue) positions


Drifters from different deployments have also made this journey. Drifter #65 was deployed 8/17/2013 near Point Lay. Drifter #36 was deployed 8/24/2013 near Wainwright, and is the only one of its deployment group to travel so far west. However, today it is very close to drifter #65. It is possible that both will also end up in Kolyuchinskaya Bay.


Field Ops


Last modified: October 31 2013 13:03:13.