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Sea Ice Charting

C-CORE provides strategic and tactical sea ice charting services using the best available satellite radar and optical images. Our remote sensing team compiles, analyses and augments ice data from the Canadian Ice Service (CIS) and other sources to create detailed descriptions of ice conditions to support design of offshore structures, planning of field activities and operations in ice-affected environments.

Above: C-CORE sea ice deformation chart; original RADARSAT-2 image © MacDONALD, DETTWILER AND ASSOCIATES LTD. (2014) – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency.

We analyse archived ice charts to derive statistics on the lengths and timing of the open-water season, as well as the severity and variability of sea ice conditions, within a particular area of interest. Historical images are analyzed to derive reliable predictions of ice drift trajectories and velocities, as well as areas of ice deformation. High-resolution images are used to map the ice with greater detail and provide reports in near real time.

C-CORE's recent research in this area is enabling us to forecast sea ice freeze-up and break-up dates and automatically detect extreme ice features (e.g., icebergs, ice islands, multi-year hummock fields, ridges) within sea ice. These new capabilities support efficient and accurate characterization of ice in frontier areas.

Above: Icebergs trapped in sea ice, off Western Greenland.