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POLRES-Polarforskning POLRES

Norwegian-Russian Collaboration on Fast Ice Growth and Decay in Kongsfjorden and Grønfjorden (Svalbard)

Awarded: NOK 0.60 mill.

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2007 - 2010

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We propose a combined observational and numerical study of atmosphere - sea ice - ocean interactions in Kongsfjorden and Grønfjorden by analyzing the processes driving the growth and decay of fast ice in this area in the seasons 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. A dditionally, we aim at fast ice scenario reconstructions for the period 1991-2004 using modeling and Russian and Norwegian historical observational data. We will apply a one-dimensional multilevel sea ice model for simulation of the annual cycle of sea ic e in Kongsfjorden and Grønfjorden. An extensive meteorological, hydrological and sea ice data base collected by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (, the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), the Murmansk Hydrometerological Service (MHS) and the Arc tic & Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) over the past decades will provide the forcing for the model. The model testing will be made using the observations of ice and snow thickness in the study areas, which has been started on a regular basis since 200 4, with selected data also since 1997 for Kongsfjorden and since 1984 for Grønfjorden. We will estimate the value of turbulent heat flux from the warm and saline Atlantic water to the ice from published oceanographic winter data, and its role among the ot her parameters in driving the seasonal and internal variability of ice thickness in the two fjords investigated. Further on, the role of snow on growth and decay of fast ice will be studied. Finally, we will attempt to evaluate the potential for the sea i ce thickness to serve as an indicator of climate changes in the region and possible evolution of this parameter in changing climate.

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POLRES-Polarforskning POLRES