RADARSAT Mapping of Extreme Ice Features in the Southern Beaufort Sea, 2011–2015

Lead: David Barber, University of Manitoba

There is growing global interest in marine shipping and oil and gas development in the Southern Beaufort Sea as ice cover in Arctic waters diminishes over the summer months. However, hazardous ice remains a risk to industrial operations in the region. This research is providing regionally relevant information on extreme ice features along the northwestern flank of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The University of Manitoba is leading a team of investigators that is using RADARSAT technology to detect, monitor, and eventually model the distribution and motion of hazardous ice features and their movement over significant oil and gas exploration licenses in the area. This scientific knowledge will be married with information collected by local residents participating in a new community-based pilot program to monitor sea ice thickness.