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Time Series Measurements of Ice Thickness in Lake Erie

Author(s): Nathan Hawley; Dmitry Beletsky; Jia Wang

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Abstract: Time series measurements of ice thickness were made at 6 moorings located in the central basin of Lake Erie during the winter of 2010-2011. ASL shallow water ice profilers (SWIPS) units were deployed at 4 stations and Nortek AWACS profilers equipped with ice measurement software were deployed at 3 stations. At one station both a SWIPs and an AWACS unit were deployed. Ice formation began in the central basin in early January of 2011 and the entire basin was ice-covered by the end of the month. Ice cover continued until the end of the March but was not continuous at any of the stations. There was a pronounced thaw in mid-February when the ice cover all but vanished. The ice was not shore-fast and ice thicknesses varied widely at all of the stations over periods of minutes to hours. Maximum thicknesses reached over 4 m in some instances. There is little correlation of the thicknesses between the stations or between the two instruments co-located at one station. The extreme variability of the measurements makes it difficult to determine a meaningful daily ice thickness.

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Year: 2016

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