Skip to main content



Explore more of Isaaffik

Impact of ocean heat on landfast ice and tidewater glaciers


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Ocean & fiord systems
Project topic
Climate research
Sea ice

Fieldwork / Study

Fieldwork country
Fieldwork region
Greenland, North-East
Fieldwork location

Geolocation is 81.99515714818, -18.588867522776

Fieldwork start
Fieldwork end

Project details

Science / project plan

The major objective of this project is to collect oceanographic data and consider the physical mechanisms that potentially impact the landfast sea ice and tidewater glaciers (and vice versa) in the Station North region. Relatively warm intermediate North Atlantic waters can be found at intermediate depths off the NE Greenland continental slope. These waters might penetrate along the submarine troughs and valleys into the shallow coastal areas where vertical mixing processes could initiate heat transport to the lower surface of sea ice. The impact of this heat on the sea-ice thermodynamic growth, brine rejection, buoyancy-driven mixing and the gas exchange will be studied. The tidewater glaciers might be even ablated directly at intermediate depths depending on local bathymetry that is currently unknown. Both short-term mooring deployments in the vicinity of the glacier-ocean contact zone, and long-term mooring observation under the land fast ice are selected as project priorities.

The project will start in April 2015 with regional oceanographic CTD survey (including the glacier area) and installation of ITP/CTD in the vicinity of glacier-ocean contact zone for ~30 days. In addition ADCP measurements, microstructure turbulence measurements (optional), and water sampling below the land-fast ice will be executed. An array of 3 moorings equipped with ADCP/CTD/ITP and mass balance buoys will be deployed for one year starting in leg 2, between the Prinsesse Margrethe island and Prinsesse Thyra island.

Read more at the ASP website