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Development of an Empirical Probabilistic Forecast Model for Sea Ice Convergence and Pack Pressure Events Offshore Labrador, Canada

Author(s): Ian D. Turnbull; Rocky Taylor; Samsur Rahman

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Abstract: Pack ice pressure events due to converging ice fields can pose a hazard to offshore operators, impacting both safety and maneuverability. In spring 2015, data collection began offshore Labrador on ice floe dynamics. In this paper, data collected from nine ice drift tracking buoys are presented to analyze localized events of significant ice field convergence as recorded by the drift of the buoys in three triangular arrays. This paper focuses on the simultaneous wind and ocean current forcing conditions which caused one of these events during May 2-3 offshore Nain. The particular conditions of the divergence and curl values of the overlying wind and underlying current fields are considered. The paper subsequently introduces the future development of an empirical probabilistic model for operationally forecasting events of significant ice field convergence and potential pack pressure. The model will be further developed and refined in the coming years as more data are collected throughout the remainder of the 2015-2020 project.

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Year: 2016

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