Abstract

This paper is focused on new field data collected for drift behaviour of first-year sea ice, a multi-year ice floe and two icebergs offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Offshore operations in ice environments require detailed knowledge of ice conditions. Moreover, reliable forecasts of ice drift behaviour for first-year sea ice and extreme ice features such as thick multi-year (MY) ice and icebergs are essential in supporting ice management activities and in supporting effective operational decision-making. Central to the development of improved drift forecasting models is the collection of new field data that can be used to improve understanding of the physical environment and to validate and improve predictive tools. Three ice drift beacons have recently been deployed offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. In the present paper, a description of the beacons used, deployment activities, as well as results from these beacons are reported, along with initial analysis of these data. These new data provide interesting and sometimes unexpected drift behaviour. Results from these beacons are analyzed in light of ocean current and wind data and conclusions regarding the correlations between these environmental conditions and observed drift behaviour are discussed for each case.

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