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Sample records for beaufort sea

  1. Beaufort Sea: information update

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, P.R.

    1988-04-01

    The report is based on a multi-disciplinary meeting held March 6-7, 1985, as part of preparations for the Beaufort Sea Sale 97. The chapters are based on presentations given: The causeway effect: Modification of nearshore thermal regime resulting from causeways; Summertime sea ice intrusions in the Chukchi Sea; The deepwater limit of ice gouging on the Beaufort Sea shelf; Distribution, abundance, migration, harvest, and stock identity of Belukha Whales in the Beaufort Sea; Ringed seals in the Beaufort Sea; Beaufort Sea socioeconomics; The Baffin Island Oil Spill, (BIOS) Project.

  2. Meteorology of the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, James E.

    2009-01-01

    The unique meteorology of the Beaufort Sea region is dominated by the presence of sea ice and a seasonal swing from a large heat loss in winter to a gain in summer. The primary determinant of this seasonal climate shift is the annual cycle of insolation from a maximum of 500 W/m2 near the summer solstice to darkness in winter, as the Beaufort Sea lies north of Alaska and northwestern Canada beyond 72°N. Even though the Sun angle is low in summer, the length of daylight provides as much energy to the surface as anywhere on the planet. As summer progresses, relative absorption of insolation at the surface increases as the albedo decreases due to snow and ice melt and increased open water area. This annual cycle results in a change from a winter continental-like air mass similar to the adjacent land areas to a summertime marine air mass characterized by low cloud and fogs. In winter the region is also influenced by the polar atmospheric vortex with strong westerly winds centered in the stratosphere, whose presence is felt at the surface. Recent sea ice losses are changing the climatology of the region, with extended periods of increased temperatures through the autumn months.

  3. Submarine pingos in the beaufort sea.

    PubMed

    Shearer, J M; Macnab, R F; Pelletier, B R; Smith, T B

    1971-11-19

    Numerous underwater mounds found on the continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea are thought to be pingos (hills that have a central core of ice) which have formed in the marine environment subsequent to oceanic transgression.

  4. Surface Drifter Study - Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-07-01

    34._ MICROCOPY RESOLUTION TEST CHART NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS-1963-A I. REPORT NO: CG- C-33-82 C SURFACE DRIFTER STUDY - BEAUFORT SEA, ALASKA Ivan M. Lissauer ...6.Pefo~rmenq O, latzm, n Code _. Performing Orqanozat.on Report No. 7. AuANr’s) Ivan M. Lissauer 1 R Matthpwq CGRRDC 14/82 9. Pdfom4ing Oregaization...Springfield, Virginia. 63p. Hufford, G.L., I.M. Lissauer and J.P. Welsh, 1976. Movement of spilled oil over the Beaufort Sea Shelf - A forecast. United

  5. Surface current observatons--Beaufort Sea, 1972

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, Peter; Garlow, Richard

    1975-01-01

    Sediment transport via water and ice in the Beaufort Sea off northern Alaska is related to the movement of the surficial waters. As development proceeds along the north slope of alaska, a knowledge of the potential drift trajectories of water, ice, sediment and pollutants will be needed. In an attempt to better define the probable paths and rates of transport, 4200 surface drift cards were dropped during the U.S. Coast Guard WEBSEC cruise of August and September, 1972. The results of this release are the subject of this report. Because the data presented here will be used primarily by those interested in solving problems of transport, the emphasis has been placed on data presentation rather than a detailed analysis of the circulation. (Sinha-OEIS)

  6. Extensive Ice Fractures in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this view of extensive sea-ice fracturing off the northern coast of Alaska. The event began in late-January and spread west toward Banks Island throughout February and March 2013. Visualizations of the Arctic often give the impression that the ice cap is a continuous sheet of stationary, floating ice. In fact, it is a collection of smaller pieces that constantly shift, crack, and grind against one another as they are jostled by winds and ocean currents. Especially during the summer—but even during the height of winter—cracks—or leads—open up between pieces of ice. That was what was happening on the left side of the animation (seen here: bit.ly/10kE7sh) in late January. A high-pressure weather system was parked over the region, producing warmer temperatures and winds that flowed in a southwesterly direction. That fueled the Beaufort Gyre, a wind-driven ocean current that flows clockwise. The gyre was the key force pulling pieces of ice west past Point Barrow, the northern nub of Alaska that protrudes into the Beaufort Sea. “A fracturing event in this area is not unusual because the Beaufort Gyre tends to push ice away from Banks Island and the Canadian Archipelago,” explained Walt Meier of the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC). “Point Barrow can act like a ‘pin point’ where the ice catches and fractures to the north and east.” In February, however, a series of storms passing over central Alaska exacerbated the fracturing. Strong westerly winds prompted several large pieces of ice to break away in an arc-shaped wave that moved progressively east. By the end of February, large pieces of ice had fractured all the way to the western coast of Banks Island, a distance of about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles). The data used to create the animation came from the longwave infrared (thermal) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, so the animation illustrates how

  7. Deglacial floods in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keigwin, L. D.; Driscoll, N. W.

    2014-12-01

    During summer 2013 USCGC Healy cruise 1302 surveyed and cored between Barrow, AK and the mouth of Amundsen Gulf, far to the east in the Beaufort Sea. Holocene deposition rates on the continental slope are high in the eastern Chukchi Sea and are lower farther east where deglacial sediments dominate. This is evident in CHIRP seismic data that trace two groups of reflectors as the sub-bottom depth between them increases. On the slope, at ~700 m w.d. near the mouth of the Mackenzie River, a pair of piston cores make a composite sequence 17 m long. The lower 4 m are sandy and capped by a maximum in magnetic susceptibility (ms) and a prominent reflector. N. pachyderma is too rare in this interval for 14C dates, but the d18-O of this species is as low as late Holocene. Above the reflector, counts of IRD are low, d18-O continues low, and the sediment is an acoustically transparent 7 m thick unit. The deepest date is 12.8 conv. 14C kyr at 13 m, and 3 overlying dates indicate the transparent unit accumulated at 8 m/14C kyr. The top of this unit is marked by the upper reflector that is in detail a triplet that corresponds to triple peaks in ms, grainsize, and IRD abundance. Between the two oldest sub-peaks of this reflector, d18-O reaches minimum values of ~1‰, or about 0.5‰ lower than late Holocene. In contrast to the deeper interval, this event is only 0.5 m thick and is dated to 11,050 conv. 14C kyr. Following this event, d18-O increases abruptly and then gradually decreases within the Holocene, more like a typical isotope stratigraphy. Overall, 9 dates indicate a gradual down-core increase in sedimentation rates from 9 cm/kyr in the late Holocene to the extreme of the deeper transparent unit with no age reversals. Using the modern Beaufort Sea Delta R (DR; 436 yrs), our oldest date calibrates to 13.8 ka, a little too old to be the cause of the Younger Dryas. However, the combined seismic, isotope, and sedimentological data suggest that at least the older transparent

  8. Gray whale sightings in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, September 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwahara, Yuka; Fujiwara, Amane; Ito, Keizo; Miyashita, Kazushi; Mitani, Yoko

    2016-06-01

    Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) are distributed within the productive neritic and estuarine waters of the North Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, and adjacent waters of the Arctic Ocean. They migrate to high-latitude feeding grounds each spring. Their main feeding grounds in the Arctic include the Chirikov Basin, the northeastern Chukchi Sea from Pt. Hope to Cape Lisburne and Pt. Lay to Pt. Barrow, and the northwestern Chukchi Sea along the Chukotka coast. Although sightings are rare in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, we observed three gray whales in two groups in this area in September 2014. A mud plume was observed near one of the whales, suggesting the animal had been feeding. In the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, large-scale monitoring of the distributions of marine mammals has been continuously conducted since 1979; however, there has been less monitoring in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Therefore, it is necessary to record opportunistic sightings, such as those described here.

  9. Atmospheric forcing of sea ice leads in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, B. J.; Hutchings, J.; Mahoney, A. R.; Shapiro, L. H.

    2016-12-01

    Leads in sea ice play an important role in the polar marine environment where they allow heat and moisture transfer between the oceans and atmosphere and act as travel pathways for both marine mammals and ships. Examining AVHRR thermal imagery of the Beaufort Sea, collected between 1994 and 2010, sea ice leads appear in repeating patterns and locations (Eicken et al 2005). The leads, resolved by AVHRR, are at least 250m wide (Mahoney et al 2012), thus the patterns described are for lead systems that extend up to hundreds of kilometers across the Beaufort Sea. We describe how these patterns are associated with the location of weather systems relative to the coastline. Mean sea level pressure and 10m wind fields from ECMWF ERA-Interim reanalysis are used to identify if particular lead patterns can be uniquely forecast based on the location of weather systems. Ice drift data from the NSIDC's Polar Pathfinder Daily 25km EASE-Grid Sea Ice Motion Vectors indicates the role shear along leads has on the motion of ice in the Beaufort Gyre. Lead formation is driven by 4 main factors: (i) coastal features such as promontories and islands influence the origin of leads by concentrating stresses within the ice pack; (ii) direction of the wind forcing on the ice pack determines the type of fracture, (iii) the location of the anticyclone (or cyclone) center determines the length of the fracture for certain patterns; and (iv) duration of weather conditions affects the width of the ice fracture zones. Movement of the ice pack on the leeward side of leads originating at promontories and islands increases, creating shear zones that control ice transport along the Alaska coast in winter. . Understanding how atmospheric conditions influence the large-scale motion of the ice pack is needed to design models that predict variability of the gyre and export of multi-year ice to lower latitudes.

  10. Ice Types in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Determining the amount and type of sea ice in the polar oceans is crucial to improving our knowledge and understanding of polar weather and long term climate fluctuations. These views from two satellite remote sensing instruments; the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on board the RADARSAT satellite and the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), illustrate different methods that may be used to assess sea ice type. Sea ice in the Beaufort Sea off the north coast of Alaska was classified and mapped in these concurrent images acquired March 19, 2001 and mapped to the same geographic area.

    To identify sea ice types, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ice Center constructs ice charts using several data sources including RADARSAT SAR images such as the one shown at left. SAR classifies sea ice types primarily by how the surface and subsurface roughness influence radar backscatter. In the SAR image, white lines delineate different sea ice zones as identified by the National Ice Center. Regions of mostly multi-year ice (A) are separated from regions with large amounts of first year and younger ice (B-D), and the dashed white line at bottom marks the coastline. In general, sea ice types that exhibit increased radar backscatter appear bright in SAR and are identified as rougher, older ice types. Younger, smoother ice types appear dark to SAR. Near the top of the SAR image, however, red arrows point to bright areas in which large, crystalline 'frost flowers' have formed on young, thin ice, causing this young ice type to exhibit an increased radar backscatter. Frost flowers are strongly backscattering at radar wavelengths (cm) due to both surface roughness and the high salinity of frost flowers, which causes them to be highly reflective to radar energy.

    Surface roughness is also registered by MISR, although the roughness observed is at a different spatial scale. Older, rougher ice areas are predominantly backward scattering to

  11. Ice Types in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Determining the amount and type of sea ice in the polar oceans is crucial to improving our knowledge and understanding of polar weather and long term climate fluctuations. These views from two satellite remote sensing instruments; the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on board the RADARSAT satellite and the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), illustrate different methods that may be used to assess sea ice type. Sea ice in the Beaufort Sea off the north coast of Alaska was classified and mapped in these concurrent images acquired March 19, 2001 and mapped to the same geographic area.

    To identify sea ice types, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ice Center constructs ice charts using several data sources including RADARSAT SAR images such as the one shown at left. SAR classifies sea ice types primarily by how the surface and subsurface roughness influence radar backscatter. In the SAR image, white lines delineate different sea ice zones as identified by the National Ice Center. Regions of mostly multi-year ice (A) are separated from regions with large amounts of first year and younger ice (B-D), and the dashed white line at bottom marks the coastline. In general, sea ice types that exhibit increased radar backscatter appear bright in SAR and are identified as rougher, older ice types. Younger, smoother ice types appear dark to SAR. Near the top of the SAR image, however, red arrows point to bright areas in which large, crystalline 'frost flowers' have formed on young, thin ice, causing this young ice type to exhibit an increased radar backscatter. Frost flowers are strongly backscattering at radar wavelengths (cm) due to both surface roughness and the high salinity of frost flowers, which causes them to be highly reflective to radar energy.

    Surface roughness is also registered by MISR, although the roughness observed is at a different spatial scale. Older, rougher ice areas are predominantly backward scattering to

  12. Contrasts in Arctic shelf sea-ice regimes and some implications: Beaufort Sea versus Laptev Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, E.; Dethleff, D.; Nurnberg, D.

    1994-01-01

    The winter ice-regime of the 500 km) from the mainland than in the Beaufort Sea. As a result, the annual freeze-up does not incorporate old, deep-draft ice, and with a lack of compression, such deep-draft ice is not generated in situ, as on the Beaufort Sea shelf. The Laptev Sea has as much as 1000 km of fetch at the end of summer, when freezing storms move in and large (6 m) waves can form. Also, for the first three winter months, the polynya lies inshore at a water depth of only 10 m. Turbulence and freezing are excellent conditions for sediment entrainment by frazil and anchor ice, when compared to conditions in the short-fetched Beaufort Sea. We expect entrainment to occur yearly. Different from the intensely ice-gouged Beaufort Sea shelf, hydraulic bedforms probably dominate in the Laptev Sea. Corresponding with the large volume of ice produced, more dense water is generated in the Laptev Sea, possibly accompanied by downslope sediment transport. Thermohaline convection at the midshelf polynya, together with the reduced rate of bottom disruption by ice keels, may enhance benthic productivity and permit establishment of open-shelf benthic communities which in the Beaufort Sea can thrive only in the protection of barrier islands. Indirect evidence for high benthic productivity is found in the presence of walrus, who also require year-round open water. By contrast, lack of a suitable environment restricts walrus from the Beaufort Sea, although over 700 km farther to the south. We could speculate on other consequences of the different ice regimes in the Beaufort and Laptev Seas, but these few examples serve to point out the dangers of exptrapolating from knowledge gained in the North American Arctic to other shallow Arctic shelf settings. ?? 1994.

  13. The Distribution of Permafrost Beneath the Beaufort Sea Continental Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, B. M.

    2011-12-01

    The entire Beaufort Sea continental shelf (CS) is generally believed to have been sub-aerially exposed to temperatures of -12°C during the sea level low-stand that accompanied the last glacial age. After inundation due to rising sea level, the temperature of the seafloor would have been near 0°C. Permafrost formed prior to flooding was generally expected to be ubiquitous at depth due to the relatively recent time of inundation. Seaward of just beyond the Beaufort Sea barrier islands, downhole resistivity and sonic logging in the 10 hydrocarbon exploration wells that have logging at least as shallow as 300 m below sea level (BSL) has not demonstrated evidence of ice-bearing permafrost (IBPF). Indirect evidence of IBPF seaward of the barrier islands is limited to the Belcher well on the eastern Beaufort CS where rock containing gas hydrate was blown from the well while drilling at 754 m BSL (Exlog Canada, 1988). A bottom simulating reflection is observed on the multichannel seismic reflection (MCS) data near the location of the Belcher well, confirming the presence of gas hydrate. From the barrier islands shoreward to the coast, IBPF is indicated by resistivity and sonic logs in all wells having data. The depth to the base of the permafrost in the near shore and onshore areas varies from 200m to over 600 m. Where the top and bottom of the IBPF are observed in the resistivity logs on the barrier islands, the thickness ranges from 100-300 m. MCS data have been collected on the Beaufort CS by the oil industry since the 1970's. IBPF may be inferred from maps of the Dix average velocity (Vave) at a travel time somewhat deeper than the anticipated depth to its base, e.g., 0.75 sec two-way-travel (TWT). Vave is 2.4-3.0 km/sec onshore. In the western Beaufort, Vave decreases rapidly across the shoreline and out to the barrier islands, beyond which it is relatively constant at 1.8 km/sec out to the shelf edge. Vave decreases across the shoreline in the eastern Beaufort, too

  14. Ice Lead Orientation Characteristics in the Winter Beaufort Sea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cunningham, G.; Kwok, R.; Banfield, J.

    1994-01-01

    The directional orientations of leads in the winter ice pack of the Beaufort Sea are studied both spatially and temporally. Data from the European Earth Resources Satellite-1 (ERS-1) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) was used. The SAR data was produced in image form at the Alaska SAR Facility (ASF) with 100 x 100 m pixel resolution. The lead ice pixels, which included all non-multiyear ice, were defined using a simple thresholding of the radar backscatter values. The orientations of the leads covering the Beaufort Sea during the period of January through March of 1992 were derived using a lead skeletonization technique. Results show a strong temporal persistence in the distribution and orientation of the leads during this period.

  15. Movements and distribution of polar bears in the Beaufort sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Durner, G.M.; Stirling, I.; Lunn, N.J.; Messier, F.

    2000-01-01

    We fitted 173 satellite radio collars (platform transmitter terminals) to 121 adult female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea and relocated the bears 44 736 times between 1985 and 1995. We regularly resighted many instrumented bears so that we could ascertain whether changes in movements or distribution were related to reproductive status. Mean short-term movement rates were less than 2 km/h for all classes of bears. Maximum movement rates occurred in winter and early summer. In the southern Beaufort Sea (SBS), net geographic movements from the beginning to the end of each month were smaller for females with cubs of the year than for solitary females, and larger in November than in April, May, or July. In May, June, July, and August, radio-collared bears in the SBS moved north. They moved south in October. In the northern Beaufort Sea (NBS), bears moved north in June and south in March and September. Total annual movements ranged from 1406 to 6203 km. Mean total distances moved each month ranged from 79 to 420 km. Total monthly movements by SBS bears were largest in early winter and smallest in early spring. In the NBS, movements were largest in summer and smallest in winter. In the SBS, females with cubs moved less each month than other females. Annual activity areas ranged from 7264 to 596 800 km2. Monthly activity areas ranged from 88 to 9760 km2. Seasonal fidelity to activity areas of bears captured in all parts of the Beaufort Sea was strongest in summer and weakest in spring.

  16. Heavy-mineral trends in the Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Luepke, Gretchen

    1975-01-01

    Sediments of the Beaufort Sea, off the North Slope of Alaska contain a great variety of heavy minerals. These include garnet, chrome spinel, augite, pigionite, diopside, hornblende, enstatite, hypersthene, epidote, clinozoisite, zoisite, apatite, tourmaline, chloritoid, sphene, zircon, and opaque minerals. Much rarer constituents are glaucophane, lamprobolite, rutile, Kyanite, staurolite, and riebeckite. Garnet increases in abundance from east to west, which corresponds to a similar increase in garnet abundance in coastal outcrops of the Gubik Formation sands. Only garnet and iron-stained aggregates appear to have source-related distribution patterns. The other heavy minerals lack distinct distributive provinces, reflecting an environment dominated by intense mixing by ice-gouging and bioturbation and a homogenous source area. Waves and currents are not strong enough to sort sediments at depths greater than 10 m except during summer storms. The source of the Beaufort Sea heavy minerals is dominated by contributions from the Alaskan North Slope deposits of Tertiary and younger age. The Colville River, largest in the region, is probably the most influential in transporting sediments, but because of wave and current-mixing of sediments on the shelf, exact contributions from each river drainage cannot be ascertained. Coastal erosion of the Gubik Formation is probably at least as important as the Colville River in supplying heavy minerals to the Beaufort Sea. (Sinha-OEIS)

  17. Recent changes in sea ice area flux through the Beaufort Sea during the summer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Stephen E. L.; Brady, Michael; Derksen, Chris; Kelly, Richard E. J.

    2016-04-01

    Over the annual cycle, sea ice is sequestered from the Canadian Basin and transported through the Beaufort Sea toward the Chukchi Sea. In recent years, the Beaufort Sea has experienced considerable ice loss during the summer, which may be indicative of recent changes to this process. In order to investigate this, we quantify the sea ice area flux using RADARSAT from 1997 to 2014 at three gates in Beaufort Sea: the Canadian Basin (entrance), mid-Beaufort (midpoint), and Chukchi (exit). There was a mean annual flux of 42 ± 56 × 103 km2 at the Canadian Basin gate, 94 ± 92 × 103 km2 at the mid-Beaufort gate and -83 ± 68 × 103 km2 at the Chukchi gate (positive and negative flux signs correspond to ice inflow and outflow, respectively). The majority of ice transport in Beaufort Sea was found to occur from October to May providing replenishment for ice lost during the summer months. The cross-strait gradient in sea level pressure explains ˜40% of the variance in the ice area flux at the gates. Remarkably, the mean July-October net sea ice area flux at the Chukchi gate decreased by ˜80% from 2008 to 2014 relative to 1997-2007 and became virtually ice-free every year since 2008. This reduction was associated with younger (thinner) ice that was unable to survive the summer melt season when either being sequestered from the Canadian Basin and transported through Beaufort Sea during the melt season (2008-2011) or remaining immobile and present in the vicinity of the Chukchi gate during the melt season (2012-2014).

  18. Aerial Surveys of Endangered Whales in the Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Northern Bering Sea.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-06-01

    of Kivalina. The entire area from this point to the village of Wales was icebound. Figure 3 shows the typical ice conditions of the Bering Sea...area extending across the Bering Straits from Cape Prince of Wales to the north end of Little Diomede Island. Large concentrations of pan ice with a 7...ice conditions across the main area of sightings between Wales and Little Diomede Island throughout the survey effort. 8 !. I. I Beaufort Sea I.Brrow

  19. Siku DEM Simulations of Beaufort Sea-Ice Fracture Pattern.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulchitsky, A. V.; Hutchings, J. K.; Johnson, J.; Velikhovskiy, G.

    2016-12-01

    Leads are fractures in the ice pack where exposed ocean surface increases heat and moisture fluxes to the atmosphere. These leads are the location of shear in the pack and during winter control the transport of ice around the Beaufort Gyre. Hence prediction of lead direction opening and shear is important in forecasting sea ice drift and weather. Regional ice pack deformation is related to the fracture patterns, and related shear zones. Hence climate models need to simulate these processes to simulate realistic sea-ice transport and mass balance. We have developed a new discrete element method (DEM) model of sea ice, Siku, to forecast lead patterns. Siku is the first sea ice DEM model that takes into account the spherical geometry of the Earth, and allows simulation ranging from basin scale to meter scale without nesting. We present simulations with 2.5km resolution in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and 25-100km across the rest of the Arctic. The DEM has been shown to reproduce discontinuous dynamics that result in shear patterns in the ice cover. We evaluate these against observed fracture patterns in thermal band satellite imagery. Simulations with differing ice mechanics produce lead pattern differences that are used to evaluate the physical validity of proposed physics of ice-ice and ice-coast contact. We present simulations demonstrating a good match to observations and discuss the implications for continuum modeling, where predicted ice transport along the Alaskan coast is known to be too slow.

  20. 77 FR 39164 - Safety Zone; KULLUK, Outer Continental Shelf Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), Beaufort Sea, AK

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-02

    ... Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), Beaufort Sea, AK AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Temporary final rule... order to drill exploratory wells at various prospects located in the Beaufort Sea Outer Continental...; KULLUK, Outer Continental Shelf Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), Beaufort Sea, Alaska'' in the...

  1. Aircraft Surveys of the Beaufort Sea Seasonal Ice Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morison, J.

    2016-02-01

    The Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys (SIZRS) is a program of repeated ocean, ice, and atmospheric measurements across the Beaufort-Chukchi sea seasonal sea ice zone (SIZ) utilizing US Coast Guard Arctic Domain Awareness (ADA) flights of opportunity. The SIZ is the region between maximum winter sea ice extent and minimum summer sea ice extent. As such, it contains the full range of positions of the marginal ice zone (MIZ) where sea ice interacts with open water. The increasing size and changing air-ice-ocean properties of the SIZ are central to recent reductions in Arctic sea ice extent. The changes in the interplay among the atmosphere, ice, and ocean require a systematic SIZ observational effort of coordinated atmosphere, ice, and ocean observations covering up to interannual time-scales, Therefore, every year beginning in late Spring and continuing to early Fall, SIZRS makes monthly flights across the Beaufort Sea SIZ aboard Coast Guard C-130H aircraft from USCG Air Station Kodiak dropping Aircraft eXpendable CTDs (AXCTD) and Aircraft eXpendable Current Profilers (AXCP) for profiles of ocean temperature, salinity and shear, dropsondes for atmospheric temperature, humidity, and velocity profiles, and buoys for atmosphere and upper ocean time series. Enroute measurements include IR imaging, radiometer and lidar measurements of the sea surface and cloud tops. SIZRS also cooperates with the International Arctic Buoy Program for buoy deployments and with the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory atmospheric chemistry sampling program on board the aircraft. Since 2012, SIZRS has found that even as SIZ extent, ice character, and atmospheric forcing varies year-to-year, the pattern of ocean freshening and radiative warming south of the ice edge is consistent. The experimental approach, observations and extensions to other projects will be discussed.

  2. Polar bear maternity denning in the Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Gardner, Craig L.

    1994-01-01

    The distribution of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is circumpolar in the NOrthern Hemisphere, but known locations of maternal dens are concentrated in relatively few, widely scattered locations. Denning is either uncommon or unknown within gaps. To understand effects of industrial development and propose increases in hunting, the temporal and spatial distribution of denning in the Beaufort Sea must be known. We caputred and radiocollared polar bears between 1981 and 1991 and determined tht denning in the Beaufort Sea region was sufficient to account for the estimated population there. Of 90 dend, 48 were on drifting pack ice, 38 on land, and 4 on land-fast ice. The portions of dens on land was higher (P= 0.029) in later compared with earlier years of the study. Bears denning on pack ice drifting as far as 997 km (x=385km) while in dens. there was no difference in cun production by bears denning on land and pack ice (P =0.66). Mean entry and exit dates were 11 November and 5 April for land dens and 22 November and 26 March for pack-ice dens. Female polar bears captured in the Beaufort Sea appeared to be isolated from those caught eat of Cape Bathurst in Canada. Of 35 polar bears that denned along the mainland coast of Alaska and Canada 80% denned between 137 00'W snf 146 59'W. Bears followed to >1 den did not reuse sites and consecutive dens were 20-1,304 km apart. However radio-collared bears are largely faithful to substrate (pack-ice, land, and land-fast ice) and the general geographic area of previous dens. Bears denning on land may be vunerable to human activities such as hunting and industrial development. However, predictable denning chronology and alck of site fidelity indicate that many potential impacts on denning polar bears could be mitigated.

  3. Regional Reanalysis over the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krieger, J. R.; Zhang, J.; Liu, F.; Shulski, M.; Tao, W.; Zhang, X.

    2012-12-01

    Potential future oil development in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas is accompanied by the threat of oil spills. In the event of a spill, time is of the essence in directing mitigation, cleanup, and recovery efforts, and thus improving the predictability of oil spill transport is of great importance. As the surface wind field is the primary factor in driving ocean currents, and thus the dispersal of any accompanying oil, accurate modeling of the surface winds is essential in enhancing the prediction of oil spill transport. As such, a study of the mesoscale meteorology of the Beaufort/Chukchi region has been conducted in an effort to ensure the accurate simulation of near-surface winds, which will thereby lead to improved prediction of oil spill dispersal. The final product of this effort is a long-term, high-quality, high-resolution reanalysis of the region's mesoscale meteorology that will be used to drive oil spill transport models. The Beaufort/Chukchi region represents a highly complex geographical environment. It comprises highly varying topography, ranging from the sharp peaks of the Brooks Range to the broad flatlands of the North Slope, and is characterized by a constantly changing sea ice presence in the ocean. The atmospheric environment is equally complex, with extremes of cold and wind a fixture of the region's climatology. Together, these present a great challenge to the accurate modeling of the Beaufort/Chukchi regional meteorology, and correspondingly of the associated surface winds. In addition, due to its remote nature, observations are sparse throughout the area, further complicating efforts to accurately initialize and simulate atmospheric conditions in the region, and making it all the more important to fully utilize any available observations through data assimilation. In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and its variational data assimilation system were used to conduct numerical simulations of the region's mesoscale

  4. Ice gouge processes in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rearic, Douglas M.; Ticken, Edward J.

    1988-01-01

    A generalized picture of ice gouge characteristics from shallow inshore depths to the outer shelf at about 60 m of water is presented. Data from recent studies show that the size and quantity of gouging increases in an offshore direction to depths of about 45 m where this trend then reverses and the features decrease in size and quantity as the shelf break is approached. Ice gouges are oriented east-west and this suggests that most gouging is caused by ice approaching from the east, possibly driven by the Beaufort Sea gyre. The most intense gouging occurs in the stamukhi zone, between 20 and 40 m of water, and is caused by a high rate of ice keel production owing to shearing forces between mobile and stable sea ice. Inshore of the stamukhi zone, ice gouging still presents a significant hazard but their greatly decreased size and number make it possible to design against this hazard.

  5. Effects of Mackenzie River Discharge and Bathymetry on Sea Ice in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Hall, D. K.; Rigor, I. G; Li, P.; Neumann, G.

    2014-01-01

    Mackenzie River discharge and bathymetry effects on sea ice in the Beaufort Sea are examined in 2012 when Arctic sea ice extent hit a record low. Satellite-derived sea surface temperature revealed warmer waters closer to river mouths. By 5 July 2012, Mackenzie warm waters occupied most of an open water area about 316,000 sq km. Surface temperature in a common open water area increased by 6.5 C between 14 June and 5 July 2012, before and after the river waters broke through a recurrent landfast ice barrier formed over the shallow seafloor offshore the Mackenzie Delta. In 2012, melting by warm river waters was especially effective when the strong Beaufort Gyre fragmented sea ice into unconsolidated floes. The Mackenzie and other large rivers can transport an enormous amount of heat across immense continental watersheds into the Arctic Ocean, constituting a stark contrast to the Antarctic that has no such rivers to affect sea ice.

  6. Mass Balance of Multiyear Sea Ice in the Southern Beaufort Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    1) Determination of the net growth and melt of multiyear (MY) sea ice during its transit through the southern Beaufort Sea 2) Identification of...which we refer to as the FGIV dataset. Analysis of melt processes from ice core and IMB data (Eicken) Through stratigraphic analysis of sea ice ...layers of refrozen melt water that once pooled beneath the ice . These meltwater layers, traces of which are found in all multiyear ice cores, form

  7. Pressure Ridge Keel Shapes in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valenti, V. A.; Mahoney, A. R.; Metzger, A.; Eicken, H.

    2014-12-01

    Abstract: Recent aspirations for offshore development in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, off the North Slope of Alaska, have precipitated the need of additional information for various sea-ice parameters. Of specific interest to engineers and regulatory agencies are the magnitudes of parameters representative of major hazards with a low expectation of occurring over some timeframe. The thickness and width of large pressure ridges that may impact offshore structures is of particular interest. Here, we analyze an extensive dataset from moored ice profiling sonars (IPSs) and acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCPs) deployed in the vicinity of offshore oil-and-gas lease areas in the US portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. In all, we examine 16 annual time series of ice draft and velocity from six different mooring locations over five years. Using an automated algorithm, we identify individual pressure ridge keels based on deviations in ice draft from surrounding level ice and derive measurements of the maximum depth and shape of each. Of particular note, and contrary to many idealized ridges portrayed in the literature, we find that flat-bottomed keels are rare in this region. Since the orientation of each ridge as it passes over the mooring is unknown it is not possible to directly measure the precise width. Instead we bin the keels by maximum depth and find the modal width value for each depth bin. Finding that most keels have broadly the same triangular cross-section, we assume the modal width value corresponds to cases when the ridge passes over the mooring approximately perpendicular to its axis. Using this approach, we find a constant ratio between maximum keel depth and width, corresponding to a mean keel slope of around 33 degrees. This is somewhat steeper than is commonly found in literature. We also analyze the relationship between keel depth and drift speed, but find no statistically significant dependence.

  8. Use of the Beaufort Sea by king eiders breeding on the North Slope of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, Laura M.; Powell, A.N.; Taylor, E.J.; Rexstad, E.A.

    2007-01-01

    We estimated areas used by king eiders (Somateria spectabilis) in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, how distributions of used areas varied, and characteristics that explained variation in the number of days spent at sea, to provide regulatory agencies with baseline data needed to minimize impacts of potential offshore oil development. We implanted sixty king eiders with satellite transmitters at nesting areas on the North Slope of Alaska, USA, in 2002-2004. More than 80% of marked eiders spent >2 weeks staging offshore prior to beginning a postbreeding molt migration. During postbreeding staging and migration, male king eiders had much broader distributions in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea than female eiders, which were concentrated in Harrison and Smith Bays. Distribution did not vary by sex during spring migration in the year after marking. Shorter residence times of eiders and deeper water at locations used during spring migration suggest the Alaskan Beaufort Sea might not be as critical a staging area for king eiders during prebreeding as it is postbreeding. Residence time in the Beaufort Sea varied by sex, with female king eiders spending more days at sea than males in spring and during postbreeding. We conclude the Alaskan Beaufort Sea is an important staging area for king eiders during postbreeding, and eider distribution should be considered by managers when mitigating for future offshore development. We recommend future studies examine the importance of spring staging areas outside the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.

  9. Comparing growth rates of Arctic Cod Boreogadus saida across the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frothingham, A. M.; Norcross, B.

    2016-02-01

    Dramatic changes to the Arctic have highlighted the need for a greater understanding of the present ecosystem. Arctic Cod, Boreogadus saida, commonly dominate fish assemblages in the Arctic region and inhabit two geographically unique seas in the U.S. Due to the importance of Arctic Cod in the Arctic food web, establishing current benchmark information such as growth rates, will provide a better understanding as to how the species will adapt to the effects of climate change. To investigate differences in Arctic Cod life history across nearly 1500 km of vital habitat, growth rates were examined using a von Bertalanffy growth equation. Arctic Cod were collected from 2009 to 2014 from the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. Arctic Cod collected from the Chukchi Sea had an overall smaller maximum achievable length (210 mm) compared to the Beaufort Sea (253 mm) despite a larger sample size in the Chukchi Sea (n=1569) than the Beaufort Sea (n=1140). Growth rates indicated faster growth in the Chukchi Sea (K =0.33) than in the Beaufort Sea (K= 0.29). Arctic Cod collected from the Chukchi Sea had similar achievable maximum lengths throughout, but those collected from the southern Chukchi Sea grew at faster rates (K=0.45).Arctic Cod in the eastern Beaufort Sea region had a higher overall maximum achievable length (243 mm) than in the western Beaufort Sea region (186 mm). Knowledge about contemporary growth rates of Arctic Cod in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas can be used in future comparisons to evaluate potential effects of increasing climate change and anthropogenic influences.

  10. Upper Ocean Evolution Across the Beaufort Sea Marginal Ice Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Rainville, L.; Gobat, J. I.; Perry, M. J.; Freitag, L. E.; Webster, S.

    2016-12-01

    The observed reduction of Arctic summertime sea ice extent and expansion of the marginal ice zone (MIZ) have profound impacts on the balance of processes controlling sea ice evolution, including the introduction of several positive feedback mechanisms that may act to accelerate melting. Examples of such feedbacks include increased upper ocean warming though absorption of solar radiation, elevated internal wave energy and mixing that may entrain heat stored in subsurface watermasses (e.g., the relatively warm Pacific Summer and Atlantic waters), and elevated surface wave energy that acts to deform and fracture sea ice. Spatial and temporal variability in ice properties and open water fraction impact these processes. To investigate how upper ocean structure varies with changing ice cover, how the balance of processes shift as a function of ice fraction and distance from open water, and how these processes impact sea ice evolution, a network of autonomous platforms sampled the atmosphere-ice-ocean system in the Beaufort, beginning in spring, well before the start of melt, and ending with the autumn freeze-up. Four long-endurance autonomous Seagliders occupied sections that extended from open water, through the marginal ice zone, deep into the pack during summer 2014 in the Beaufort Sea. Gliders penetrated up to 200 km into the ice pack, under complete ice cover for up to 10 consecutive days. Sections reveal strong fronts where cold, ice-covered waters meet waters that have been exposed to solar warming, and O(10 km) scale eddies near the ice edge. In the pack, Pacific Summer Water and a deep chlorophyll maximum form distinct layers at roughly 60 m and 80 m, respectively, which become increasingly diffuse late in the season as they progress through the MIZ and into open water. Stratification just above the Pacific Summer Water rapidly weakens near the ice edge and temperature variance increases, likely due to mixing or energetic vertical exchange associated with strong

  11. Monitoring Beaufort Sea waterfowl and marine birds. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, S.R.

    1990-11-15

    The purpose of the project was to design and implement a monitoring protocol for marine waterbirds in the Jones-Return Islands area of the central Alaska Beaufort Sea. Because of its overwhelming and widespread abundance, relatively sedentary behavior, ease in counting, and the extensive historical database, the oldsquaw duck (Clangula hyemalis) was selected as the focal species for the study. Two null hypotheses were formulated concerning potential changes in the numbers and distribution of oldsquaws in relation to OCS development in the industrial area, compared to a control area (Stockton-Maguire-Flaxman Islands area) located about 50 km to the east. A 9-year historical database (1977 through 1984, and 1989) was analyzed using multivariate techniques to determine which of several predictor variables recorded during past aerial surveys significantly influenced oldsquaw density in the central Alaska Beaufort Sea. Separate analyses were conducted for the complete open-water period, and for the molt period of oldsquaws, when they are flightless and relatively sedentary in the study areas. The results of the two multiple regression analyses indicated that only about 57% and 68%, respectively, of the total amount of variation in oldsquaw density during the two periods could be explained by predictor variables recorded during aerial surveys. Candidate predictor variables were year of study, day of year, time of day, wind speed and direction, habitat, east-west position (study area) of the transect, distance of the transect from a barrier island, water depth beneath the transect, wave height and amount of ice recorded on the transect. Predictor variables associated with habitat, day of the year, time of day of the survey, amount of ice, and wave height recorded on transect during the survey had the most significant effect on oldsquaw density.

  12. Oil-spill risk analysis: Beaufort Sea outer continental shelf lease sale 170. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, C.M.; Johnson, W.R.; Marshall, C.F.; Lear, E.M.

    1997-02-01

    This report summarizes results of an oil-spill risk analysis conducted for OCS Lease Sale 170, Beaufort Sea. The objective of this analysis was to estimate relative risks associated with oil and gas production for the proposed lease sale.

  13. Methane in coastal sea water, sea ice, and bottom sediments, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenson, T.D.; Kvenvolden, Keith A.

    1995-01-01

    This report summarizes data acquired from 1990 to 1994 for the gas-hydrate portion of the USGS project 'Permafrost and gas hydrate as possible sources of methane' of the USGS Global Change and Climate History program. The objective of this project has been to test the hypothesis that gas hydrate deposits of the Beaufort Sea continental shelf are destabilized by the ~10?C temperature increase that has resulted from the Holocene transgression of the Arctic Ocean. To test this idea we have selected an area off the north coast of Alaska centered on Harrison Bay. We have measured the concentration of methane in surficial sediments, in the water column when ice is present and absent, and in seasonal sea ice. Our results show that more methane is present in the water when ice is present than when ice is absent, and that methane is also present within the ice itself, often at higher concentrations than in the water. Thus the Beaufort Sea shelf of Alaska is a seasonal source of methane. The primary source of this methane has not yet been defined, but gas hydrate is a reasonable candidate.

  14. Shelfbreak current over the Canadian Beaufort Sea continental slope: Wind-driven events in January 2005

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitrenko, Igor A.; Kirillov, Sergei A.; Forest, Alexandre; Gratton, Yves; Volkov, Denis L.; Williams, William J.; Lukovich, Jennifer V.; Belanger, Claude; Barber, David G.

    2016-04-01

    The shelfbreak current over the Beaufort Sea continental slope is known to be one of the most energetic features of the Beaufort Sea hydrography. In January 2005, three oceanographic moorings deployed over the Canadian (eastern) Beaufort Sea continental slope simultaneously recorded two consecutive shelfbreak current events with along-slope eastward bottom-intensified flow up to 120 cm s-1. Both events were generated by the local wind forcing associated with two Pacific-born cyclones passing north of the Beaufort Sea continental slope toward the Canadian Archipelago. Over the mooring array, the associated westerly wind exceeded 15 m s-1. These two cyclones generated storm surges along the Beaufort Sea coast with sea surface height (SSH) rising up to 1.4 m following the two westerly wind maxima. We suggest that the westerly along-slope wind generated a surface Ekman onshore transport. The associated SSH increase over the shelf produced a cross-slope pressure gradient that drove an along-slope eastward geostrophic current, in the same direction as the wind. This wind-driven barotropic flow was superimposed on the background baroclinic bottom-intensified shelfbreak current that consequently amplified. Summer-fall satellite altimetry data for 1992-2013 show that the SSH gradient in the southeastern Beaufort Sea is enhanced over the upper continental slope in response to frequent storm surge events. Because the local wind forcing and/or sea-ice drift could not explain the reduction of sea-ice concentration over the Beaufort Sea continental slope in January 2005, we speculate that wind-driven sea level fluctuations may impact the sea-ice cover in winter.

  15. Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution in the Beaufort Sea Measured by ERS-1 SAR (abstract)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, B.; Martin, S.

    1996-01-01

    Model results indicate that understanding summer heat balance and freshwater balance in the polar oceans requires knowledge of how much goes into vertical and lateral sea ice melt. In addition to thickness, two of the key ice parameters that affect melt rate are ice concentration and floe size. Smaller ice floes and more open water enables more heat to go into lateral melt preferentially to vertical melt, thereby enhancing warming up the upper ocean and increasing stratification. Using ERS-1 SAR imagery along two areas, one in the Beaufort Sea and another in the Chukchi Sea, floe size distributions were obtained during the summer period in 1992. Comparisons will be made of floe distributions, together with meteorological and buoy measurements, to examine the differences between an ice sink region (Chukchi) and a multiyear ice region (Beaufort) in the summer melt process.

  16. Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution in the Beaufort Sea Measured by ERS-1 SAR (abstract)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, B.; Martin, S.

    1996-01-01

    Model results indicate that understanding summer heat balance and freshwater balance in the polar oceans requires knowledge of how much goes into vertical and lateral sea ice melt. In addition to thickness, two of the key ice parameters that affect melt rate are ice concentration and floe size. Smaller ice floes and more open water enables more heat to go into lateral melt preferentially to vertical melt, thereby enhancing warming up the upper ocean and increasing stratification. Using ERS-1 SAR imagery along two areas, one in the Beaufort Sea and another in the Chukchi Sea, floe size distributions were obtained during the summer period in 1992. Comparisons will be made of floe distributions, together with meteorological and buoy measurements, to examine the differences between an ice sink region (Chukchi) and a multiyear ice region (Beaufort) in the summer melt process.

  17. The conservative and non-conservative properties of DOM in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osburn, C.; Stedmon, C.; Vincent, W.

    2004-12-01

    The Beaufort Sea is strongly influenced by the Mackenzie River, which annually discharges large amounts of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to the western Arctic Ocean. We have evidence from water samples collected in 2002 that DOM from the Mackenzie River may be consumed such that DOM behaves non-conservatively up to a salinity of 20 in the Beaufort Sea. Experimental evidence showed that Mackenzie River DOM is highly susceptible to photochemical degradation and we have calculated rates of DOM oxidation and photobleaching. These rates provide upper estimates on the turnover of terrigenous organic carbon in the Beaufort Sea. A possible mechanism is presented that suggests residence time in the surface waters of the Beaufort Gyre as the mechanism by which Mackenzie River DOM may be removed.

  18. Extensive Ice Fractures in the Beaufort Sea [detail

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this view of extensive sea-ice fracturing off the northern coast of Alaska. The event began in late-January and spread west toward Banks Island throughout February and March 2013. Visualizations of the Arctic often give the impression that the ice cap is a continuous sheet of stationary, floating ice. In fact, it is a collection of smaller pieces that constantly shift, crack, and grind against one another as they are jostled by winds and ocean currents. Especially during the summer—but even during the height of winter—cracks—or leads—open up between pieces of ice. That was what was happening on the left side of the animation (seen here: bit.ly/10kE7sh) in late January. A high-pressure weather system was parked over the region, producing warmer temperatures and winds that flowed in a southwesterly direction. That fueled the Beaufort Gyre, a wind-driven ocean current that flows clockwise. The gyre was the key force pulling pieces of ice west past Point Barrow, the northern nub of Alaska that protrudes into the Beaufort Sea. “A fracturing event in this area is not unusual because the Beaufort Gyre tends to push ice away from Banks Island and the Canadian Archipelago,” explained Walt Meier of the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC). “Point Barrow can act like a ‘pin point’ where the ice catches and fractures to the north and east.” In February, however, a series of storms passing over central Alaska exacerbated the fracturing. Strong westerly winds prompted several large pieces of ice to break away in an arc-shaped wave that moved progressively east. By the end of February, large pieces of ice had fractured all the way to the western coast of Banks Island, a distance of about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles). The data used to create the animation came from the longwave infrared (thermal) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, so the animation illustrates how

  19. Extensive Ice Fractures in the Beaufort Sea [annotated

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this view of extensive sea-ice fracturing off the northern coast of Alaska. The event began in late-January and spread west toward Banks Island throughout February and March 2013. Visualizations of the Arctic often give the impression that the ice cap is a continuous sheet of stationary, floating ice. In fact, it is a collection of smaller pieces that constantly shift, crack, and grind against one another as they are jostled by winds and ocean currents. Especially during the summer—but even during the height of winter—cracks—or leads—open up between pieces of ice. That was what was happening on the left side of the animation (seen here: bit.ly/10kE7sh) in late January. A high-pressure weather system was parked over the region, producing warmer temperatures and winds that flowed in a southwesterly direction. That fueled the Beaufort Gyre, a wind-driven ocean current that flows clockwise. The gyre was the key force pulling pieces of ice west past Point Barrow, the northern nub of Alaska that protrudes into the Beaufort Sea. “A fracturing event in this area is not unusual because the Beaufort Gyre tends to push ice away from Banks Island and the Canadian Archipelago,” explained Walt Meier of the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC). “Point Barrow can act like a ‘pin point’ where the ice catches and fractures to the north and east.” In February, however, a series of storms passing over central Alaska exacerbated the fracturing. Strong westerly winds prompted several large pieces of ice to break away in an arc-shaped wave that moved progressively east. By the end of February, large pieces of ice had fractured all the way to the western coast of Banks Island, a distance of about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles). The data used to create the animation came from the longwave infrared (thermal) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, so the animation illustrates how

  20. The epipelagic fish community of Beaufort Sea coastal waters, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarvela, L.E.; Thorsteinson, L.K.

    1999-01-01

    A three-year study of epipelagic fishes inhabiting Beaufort Sea coastal waters in Alaska documented spatial and temporal patterns in fish distribution and abundance and examined their relationships to thermohaline features during summer. Significant interannual, seasonal, and geographical differences in surface water temperatures and salinities were observed. In 1990, sea ice was absent and marine conditions prevailed, whereas in 1988 and 1991, heavy pack ice was present and the dissolution of the brackish water mass along the coast proceeded more slowly. Arctic cod, capelin, and liparids were the most abundant marine fishes in the catches, while arctic cisco was the only abundant diadromous freshwater species. Age-0 arctic cod were exceptionally abundant and large in 1990, while age-0 capelin dominated in the other years. The alternating numerical dominances of arctic cod and age-0 capelin may represent differing species' responses to wind-driven oceanographic processes affecting growth and survival. The only captures of age-0 arctic cisco occurred during 1990. Catch patterns indicate they use a broad coastal migratory corridor and tolerate high salinities. As in the oceanographic data, geographical anti temporal patterns were apparent in the fish catch data, but in most cases these patterns were not statistically testable because of excessive zero catches. The negative binomial distribution appeared to be a suitable statistical descriptor of the aggregated catch patterns for the more common species.

  1. Wave modeling for the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, W.; Thomson, J.; Shen, H. H.; Posey, P. G.; Hebert, D. A.

    2016-02-01

    Authors: W. Erick Rogers(1), Jim Thomson(2), Hayley Shen (3), PamelaPosey (1), David Hebert (1) 1 Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, USA2 Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle,Washington, USA3 Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, USA Abstract : In this presentation, we will discuss the development and application of numerical models for prediction of wind-generated surface gravity waves to the Arctic Ocean, and specifically the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, for which the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has supported two major field campaigns in 2014 and 2015. The modeling platform is the spectral wave model WAVEWATCH III (R) (WW3). We will begin by reviewing progress with the model numerics in 2007 and 2008 which permits efficient application at high latitudes. Then, we will discuss more recent progress (2012 to 2015) adding new physics to WW3 for ice effects. The latter include two parameterizations for dissipation by turbulence at the ice/water interface, and a more complex parameterization which treat the ice as a viscoelastic fluid. With these new physics, the primary challenge is to find observational data suitable for calibration of the parameterization, and there are concerns about validity of application of any calibration to the wide variety of ice types that exist in the Arctic (or Southern Ocean). Quality of input is another major challenge, for which some recent progress has been made (at least in the context of ice concentration and ice edge) with data assimilative ice modeling at NRL. We will discuss our recent work to invert for dissipation rate using data from a 2012 mooring in the Beaufort Sea, how the results vary by season (ice retreat vs. advance), and what this tells us in context of those complex physical parameterizations used by the model. We will summarize plans for further development of the model, such as adding scattering by floes, through collaboration with IFREMER (France), and

  2. Habitat selection by two beluga whale populations in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

    PubMed

    Hauser, Donna D W; Laidre, Kristin L; Stern, Harry L; Moore, Sue E; Suydam, Robert S; Richard, Pierre R

    2017-01-01

    There has been extensive sea ice loss in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas where two beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) populations occur between July-November. Our goal was to develop population-specific beluga habitat selection models that quantify relative use of sea ice and bathymetric features related to oceanographic processes, which can provide context to the importance of changing sea ice conditions. We established habitat selection models that incorporated daily sea ice measures (sea ice concentration, proximity to ice edge and dense ice) and bathymetric features (slope, depth, proximity to the continental slope, Barrow Canyon, and shore) to establish quantitative estimates of habitat use for the Eastern Chukchi Sea ('Chukchi') and Eastern Beaufort Sea ('Beaufort') populations. We applied 'used v. available' resource selection functions to locations of 65 whales tagged from 1993-2012, revealing large variations in seasonal habitat selection that were distinct between sex and population groups. Chukchi whales of both sexes were predicted to use areas in close proximity to Barrow Canyon (typically <200 km) as well as the continental slope in summer, although deeper water and denser ice were stronger predictors for males than females. Habitat selection differed more between sexes for Beaufort belugas. Beaufort males selected higher ice concentrations (≥40%) than females (0-40%) in July-August. Proximity to shore (<200 km) strongly predicted summer habitat of Beaufort females, while distance to the ice edge was important for male habitat selection, especially during westward migration in September. Overall, our results indicate that sea ice variables were rarely the primary drivers of beluga summer-fall habitat selection. While diminished sea ice may indirectly affect belugas through changes in the ecosystem, associations with bathymetric features that affect prey availability seemed key to habitat selection during summer and fall. These results provide a

  3. Beaufort Sea Zooplankton Communities 2010-14 and Relation to Hydrography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smoot, C.; Hopcroft, R. R.

    2016-02-01

    Zooplankton are important trophic links, yet are poorly characterized in the Beaufort Sea. Epipelagic zooplankton were sampled along across-shelf transects from Point Barrow to the Mackenzie River during August and September from 2010-14 as part of an interdisciplinary effort to characterize the biology of the Beaufort Sea. Seven copepod taxa dominated community abundance and biomass during all surveys: Calanus glacialis, Calanus hyperboreus, Metridia longa, Oithona similis, Triconia borealis, Microcalanus pygmaeus, and Pseudocalanus spp. Despite the dominance of these seven taxa, distinct faunal groupings associated with hydrographic characteristics were identified. The western Beaufort exhibited highest abundances of Pacific-derived taxa (e.g., Neocalanus spp.), demonstrating the hydrographic connectivity between the subarctic Pacific, the Chukchi Sea, and the Beaufort Sea. In contrast, the central and eastern Beaufort were more traditionally Arctic in faunal character, with the influence of the Chukchi Sea and Pacific-derived waters increasingly weakened towards the Mackenzie River. The eastern Beaufort in the vicinity of the Mackenzie River hosted markedly different communities in 2013 and 2014, reflecting the different freshwater signals observed during each survey. In 2013 we observed a strong freshwater signal, which resulted in extreme across-shelf faunal gradients and a nearshore community characterized by cladocerans, rotifers, and euryhaline copepod species. In 2014 euryhaline taxa were largely absent, reflecting the weak freshwater signal during the survey. Our work demonstrates the influence of hydrographic features on zooplankton community composition, allows comparisons with historical datasets spanning over 60 years, and provides a contemporary benchmark for Beaufort Sea zooplankton communities from which future change may be assessed.

  4. Pigment signatures of phytoplankton communities in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coupel, P.; Matsuoka, A.; Ruiz-Pino, D.; Gosselin, M.; Claustre, H.; Marie, D.; Tremblay, J.-É.; Babin, M.

    2014-10-01

    Phytoplankton are expected to respond to recent environmental changes of the Arctic Ocean. In terms of bottom-up control, modifying the phytoplankton distribution will ultimately affect the entire food web and carbon export. However, detecting and quantifying change in phytoplankton communities in the Arctic Ocean remains difficult because of the lack of data and the inconsistent identification methods used. Based on pigment and microscopy data sampled in the Beaufort Sea during summer 2009, we optimized the chemotaxonomic tool CHEMTAX for the assessment of phytoplankton community composition in an Arctic setting. The geographical distribution of the main phytoplankton groups was determined with clustering methods. Four phytoplankton assemblages were determined and related to bathymetry, nutrients and light availability. Surface waters across the whole survey region were dominated by prasinophytes and chlorophytes, whereas the subsurface chlorophyll maximum was dominated by the centric diatoms Chaetoceros socialis on the shelf and by two populations of nanoflagellates in the deep basin. Microscopic count showed a high contribution of the heterotrophic dinoflagellates Gymnodinium and Gyrodinium spp. to total carbon biomass, suggesting high grazing activity at this time of the year. However, CHEMTAX was unable to detect these dinoflagellates because they lack peridinin. The inclusion in heterotrophic dinoflagellates of the pigments of their prey potentially leads to incorrect group assignments and some misinterpretation of CHEMTAX. Thanks to the high reproducibility of pigment analysis, our results can serve as a baseline to assess change and spatial or temporal variability in phytoplankton populations.

  5. Pigment signatures of phytoplankton communities in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coupel, P.; Matsuoka, A.; Ruiz-Pino, D.; Gosselin, M.; Marie, D.; Tremblay, J.-É.; Babin, M.

    2015-02-01

    Phytoplankton are expected to respond to recent environmental changes of the Arctic Ocean. In terms of bottom-up control, modifying the phytoplankton distribution will ultimately affect the entire food web and carbon export. However, detecting and quantifying changes in phytoplankton communities in the Arctic Ocean remains difficult because of the lack of data and the inconsistent identification methods used. Based on pigment and microscopy data sampled in the Beaufort Sea during summer 2009, we optimized the chemotaxonomic tool CHEMTAX (CHEMical TAXonomy) for the assessment of phytoplankton community composition in an Arctic setting. The geographical distribution of the main phytoplankton groups was determined with clustering methods. Four phytoplankton assemblages were determined and related to bathymetry, nutrients and light availability. Surface waters across the whole survey region were dominated by prasinophytes and chlorophytes, whereas the subsurface chlorophyll maximum was dominated by the centric diatoms Chaetoceros socialis on the shelf and by two populations of nanoflagellates in the deep basin. Microscopic counts showed a high contribution of the heterotrophic dinoflagellates Gymnodinium and Gyrodinium spp. to total carbon biomass, suggesting high grazing activity at this time of the year. However, CHEMTAX was unable to detect these dinoflagellates because they lack peridinin. In heterotrophic dinoflagellates, the inclusion of the pigments of their prey potentially leads to incorrect group assignments and some misinterpretation of CHEMTAX. Thanks to the high reproducibility of pigment analysis, our results can serve as a baseline to assess change and spatial or temporal variability in several phytoplankton populations that are not affected by these misinterpretations.

  6. Divergent patterns of recent sea ice cover across the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas of the Pacific Arctic Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, Karen E.; Moore, G. W. K.; Cooper, Lee W.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.

    2015-08-01

    Over the past three decades of the observed satellite record, there have been significant changes in sea ice cover across the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas of the Pacific Arctic Region (PAR). Satellite data reveal that patterns in sea ice cover have been spatially heterogeneous, with significant declines in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, yet more complex multi-year variability in the Bering Sea south of St. Lawrence Island. These patterns in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas have intensified since 2000, indicating a regime shift in sea ice cover across the northern portion of the PAR. In particular, satellite data over 1979-2012 reveal localized decreases in sea ice presence of up to -1.64 days/year (Canada Basin) and -1.24 days/year (Beaufort Sea), which accelerated to up to -6.57 days/year (Canada Basin) and -12.84 days/year (Beaufort Sea) over the 2000-2012 time period. In contrast, sea ice in the Bering Sea shows more complex multi-year variability with localized increases in sea ice presence of up to +8.41 days/year since 2000. The observed increases in sea ice cover since 2000 in the southern Bering Sea shelf region are observed in wintertime, whereas sea ice losses in the Canada Basin and Beaufort Sea have occurred during summer. We further compare sea ice variability across the region with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) wind and air temperature fields to determine the extent to which this recent variability is driven by thermal vs. wind-driven processes. Results suggest that for these localized areas that are experiencing the most rapid shifts in sea ice cover, those in the Beaufort Sea are primarily wind driven, those offshore in the Canada Basin are primarily thermally driven, and those in the Bering Sea are influenced by elements of both. Sea ice variability (and its drivers) across the PAR provides critical insight into the forcing effects of recent shifts in climate and its likely

  7. Behavior, disturbance responses and distribution of bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus in the eastern Beaufort Sea, 1980-84: a summary

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, W.J.; Greene, C.R.; Wuersig, B.

    1985-06-01

    The behavior of bowhead whales summering in the eastern (Canadian) Beaufort Sea, and their reactions to industrial activities, were studied during five summers in the report. The objective was to provide data needed to assess the possible effects of offshore oil exploration and development in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea on this endangered species.

  8. Wind-forced depth-dependent currents over the eastern Beaufort Sea continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitrenko, Igor; Kirillov, Sergei; Forest, Alexandre; Tremblay, Bruno; Lukovich, Jennifer; Gratton, Yves; Rysgaard, Soren; Barber, David

    2017-04-01

    The shelfbreak current over the Beaufort Sea continental slope is known to be one of the most energetic features of the Beaufort Sea hydrography. This current transports a fraction of the Pacific-derived water along the Beaufort Sea continental slope towards Fram Strait. The oceanographic mooring deployed over the Canadian (eastern) Beaufort Sea continental slope in October 2003 at 300 m depth recorded current velocity through 28-108 m depths over two consecutive years until September 2005. Data analysis revealed that the high energetic currents show two different modes of the depth-dependent behavior. The downwelling favourable local wind associated with cyclones passing north of the Beaufort Sea continental slope toward the Canadian Archipelago generates depth-intensified shelfbreak currents with along-slope northeastward flow up to 120 cm/s. A surface Ekman on-shore transport and associated increase of the sea surface heights over the shelf produce a cross-slope pressure gradient that drives an along-slope northeastward geostrophic flow, in the same direction as the wind. In contrast, the surface intensified currents with along-slope westward flow are observed in response to the upwelling favourable wind forcing associated with the Pacific-born cyclones passing south of the Beaufort Sea coast. The upwelling favourable northeasterly winds generate a surface Ekman transport that moves surface waters offshore. The associated cross-slope pressure gradient drives an along-slope southwestward barotropic flow. The wind-driven barotropic flow generated by downwelling- and upwelling-favourable wind forcing is superimposed on the background geostrophic bottom-intensified shelfbreak current. For the downwelling events, this amplifies the depth-intensified background baroclinic circulation with enhanced Pacific water transport towards Canadian Archipelago and Fram Strait. For the upwelling events, the shelfbreak current is reversed. This results in surface-intensified flow

  9. An Analysis of the Beaufort Sea Thermohaline Structure and Variability, and Its Effects on Acoustic Propagation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-06-01

    have been underway as a result of climate change including reduced sea ice and changes in transports between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. These...for depths between 100–200m. 14. SUBJECT TERMS polar oceanography, Beaufort Sea, thermohaline sound speed structure, climate change , Arctic sea...Arctic water column have been underway as a result of climate change including reduced sea ice and changes in transports between the Pacific and Atlantic

  10. Habitat selection by two beluga whale populations in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas

    PubMed Central

    Laidre, Kristin L.; Stern, Harry L.; Moore, Sue E.; Suydam, Robert S.; Richard, Pierre R.

    2017-01-01

    There has been extensive sea ice loss in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas where two beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) populations occur between July-November. Our goal was to develop population-specific beluga habitat selection models that quantify relative use of sea ice and bathymetric features related to oceanographic processes, which can provide context to the importance of changing sea ice conditions. We established habitat selection models that incorporated daily sea ice measures (sea ice concentration, proximity to ice edge and dense ice) and bathymetric features (slope, depth, proximity to the continental slope, Barrow Canyon, and shore) to establish quantitative estimates of habitat use for the Eastern Chukchi Sea (‘Chukchi’) and Eastern Beaufort Sea (‘Beaufort’) populations. We applied ‘used v. available’ resource selection functions to locations of 65 whales tagged from 1993–2012, revealing large variations in seasonal habitat selection that were distinct between sex and population groups. Chukchi whales of both sexes were predicted to use areas in close proximity to Barrow Canyon (typically <200 km) as well as the continental slope in summer, although deeper water and denser ice were stronger predictors for males than females. Habitat selection differed more between sexes for Beaufort belugas. Beaufort males selected higher ice concentrations (≥40%) than females (0–40%) in July-August. Proximity to shore (<200 km) strongly predicted summer habitat of Beaufort females, while distance to the ice edge was important for male habitat selection, especially during westward migration in September. Overall, our results indicate that sea ice variables were rarely the primary drivers of beluga summer-fall habitat selection. While diminished sea ice may indirectly affect belugas through changes in the ecosystem, associations with bathymetric features that affect prey availability seemed key to habitat selection during summer and fall. These

  11. Model of inner shelf shoal development, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Lowry, P.; Nummedal, D.; Reimnitz, E.

    1985-01-01

    At least two types of inner shelf shoals exist in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska. One type is located up to 40 km from the shoreline in an average water depth of 20m and oriented obliquely to the coast. A second type of shoals occur adjacent to existing barrier islands where minimum water depth over the shoal crest may be as little as 30-50cm. The development of shallow water shoals is believed to be a result of barrier island submergence. Dinkum Sands is an example of a shallow water shoal. This linear sand body is located between Cross and Narwhal Islands, 25km northeast of Prudhoe Bay. The shoal complex is 8 km long and less than 2 km wide and has a maximum relief of 5m. Historical data reveal submergence of an island over at least a 25 year period. The proposed initial stage of shoal development occurs when longshore sediment transport between barrier islands is disrupted by numerous events of downdrift tidal inlet breaching. Reduction in the amount of available sediment to each island results in significant coastal erosion (stage 2), manifest as a landward migration of the shoreline and a reduction in barrier elevation. The final stage of the model is barrier submergence. At present the greatest accumulation of sediment on Dinkum Sands occur at the distal extremities of the shoal. These are believed to represent the location of recurved spits at either end of the island prior to submergence. Application of the submergence model to explain deepwater shoal development must await the collection of shallow (10m) whole core data.

  12. Aerial monitoring of marine waterfowl in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Stephen R; Noel, Lynn E; Gazey, William J; Hawkes, Virgil C

    2005-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to design and test a monitoring protocol for marine waterfowl in the central Alaskan Beaufort Sea. The study provides an important case-study of how a long-term monitoring program may be affected by unanticipated human disturbances. Because of its overwhelming and widespread abundance, relatively sedentary behavior, ease in counting, and the extensive historical database, the long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) was selected as the focal species. Two null hypotheses were formulated concerning potential changes in the numbers and distribution of long-tailed ducks in relation to disturbance in an industrial study area, compared to a reference study area located about 50 km to the east. A 9-year historical database (1977-1984, 1989) of long-tailed duck densities and other important data recorded during systematic aerial surveys was analyzed retrospectively using multiple regression techniques. The retrospective analyses determined which of several predictor variables recorded were significantly related to long-tailed duck density. Separate analyses were conducted for two periods: (1) the overall period when long-tailed ducks were present in the lagoon study areas, and (2) the shorter adult male molt period. The results of the two analyses indicated that 57% and 68%, respectively, of the total variation in long-tailed duck density during the two periods could be explained by variables recorded during the surveys. Predictor variables representing habitat, day of the year, time of day, amount of ice, and wave height recorded on-transect during surveys were most closely associated with long-tailed duck density. Measurement error during the surveys, and influences outside the study area such as nesting success in tundra habitats and mortality during migration and in over-wintering areas likely also had strong influences on the results, but these factors were not measurable in our study. Based on results of the retrospective analyses, a long

  13. Mud Volcanoes from the Beaufort Sea to the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundsten, E. M.; Paull, C. K.; Caress, D. W.; Dallimore, S.; Melling, H.; Liu, C. S.; Anderson, K.; Gwiazda, R.

    2015-12-01

    The detailed morphology of five submarine mud volcanoes were surveyed using an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) developed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Mud volcanoes are constructional features built by extrusion of gas, subsurface fluids and fine-grained sediment. Two surveys covering four submarine mud volcanoes were conducted on the CCGS Sir Wilfred Laurier in the Beaufort Sea in the Canadian Arctic. A survey of one mud volcano was conducted on the Taiwanese Ocean Research V in the South China Sea, SE of Taiwan. The AUV carried a multibeam sonar, a 1-6 kHz chirp sub-bottom profiler, and a110 kHz sidescan, and obtained overlapping multibeam bathymetric coverage at a vertical resolution of 0.15 m with a horizontal footprint of 0.9 m and chirp seismic-reflection profiles with a vertical resolution of 0.11 m. Mud volcanoes were either flat topped or conical. The conical mud volcano off Taiwan had a diameter of ~2 km and 10° side slopes; the conical feature in the Beaufort Sea had a diameter of ~1.5 km and 4° side slopes. The sides of the conical mud volcanoes were smooth, suggesting they were formed by sediment flows that emanate from a vent on their crests. The flanks of the conical mud volcanoes characteristically had very low acoustic reflectivity, but one single high reflectivity trail from the crest of the Beaufort Sea mud volcano indicates a recent flow. Three mud volcanoes in the Beaufort Sea formed circular, flat-topped plateaus that are up to ~1.1 km in diameter and elevated up to 30 m from the surrounding seafloor. The fine scale morphology and reflectivity on these plateaus show low relief, concentric, and ovoid circles that appear to be mud boils probably associated with eruptive events of varying ages at shifting vent sites. The different mud volcano shapes are attributed to variations in the viscosity of the erupting sediment slurries and may represent a sequential morphology, which is altered by shifts in venting position over

  14. Distribution, Abundance, Behavior, and Bioacoustics of Endangered Whales in the Alaskan Beaufort and Eastern Chukchi Seas, 1979-86.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-07-01

    hauled out on the ice (Appendix A, N780: Flight 43). Three walruses , all swimming, were seen in the western Alaskan Beaufort Sea in mid- September...develop relatively nearshore in the Chukchi Sea , but offshore and well north of oil exploration activities in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea (Braham et al., 1984...band of open water between the shorefast and heavy ice (>9596) west of Barrow in the northeastern Chukchi Sea . Ice

  15. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; McDonald, Trent L.; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E.; Richardson, Evan S.; Regehr, Eric V.; Douglas, David C.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark–recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25–50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606–1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.

  16. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline.

    PubMed

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Mcdonald, Trent L; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Richardson, Evan S; Regehr, Eric V; Douglas, David C; Durner, George M; Atwood, Todd; Amstrup, Steven C

    2015-04-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark-recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25-50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606-1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.

  17. Polar Bear Population Status in the Southern Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Regehr, Eric V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, Ian

    2006-01-01

    Polar bears depend entirely on sea ice for survival. In recent years, a warming climate has caused major changes in the Arctic sea ice environment, leading to concerns regarding the status of polar bear populations. Here we present findings from long-term studies of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) region of the U.S. and Canada, which are relevant to these concerns. We applied open population capture-recapture models to data collected from 2001 to 2006, and estimated there were 1,526 (95% CI = 1,211; 1,841) polar bears in the SBS region in 2006. The number of polar bears in this region was previously estimated to be approximately 1,800. Because precision of earlier estimates was low, our current estimate of population size and the earlier ones cannot be statistically differentiated. For the 2001-06 period, the best fitting capture-recapture model provided estimates of total apparent survival of 0.43 for cubs of the year (COYs), and 0.92 for all polar bears older than COYs. Because the survival rates for older polar bears included multiple sex and age strata, they could not be compared to previous estimates. Survival rates for COYs, however, were significantly lower than estimates derived in earlier studies (P = 0.03). The lower survival of COYs was corroborated by a comparison of the number of COYs per adult female for periods before (1967-89) and after (1990-2006) the winter of 1989-90, when warming temperatures and altered atmospheric circulation caused an abrupt change in sea ice conditions in the Arctic basin. In the latter period, there were significantly more COYs per adult female in the spring (P = 0.02), and significantly fewer COYs per adult female in the autumn (P < 0.001). Apparently, cub production was higher in the latter period, but fewer cubs survived beyond the first 6 months of life. Parallel with declining survival, skull measurements suggested that COYs captured from 1990 to 2006 were smaller than those captured before 1990

  18. Polar Bear Population Status in the Southern Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Regehr, Eric V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, Ian

    2006-01-01

    Polar bears depend entirely on sea ice for survival. In recent years, a warming climate has caused major changes in the Arctic sea ice environment, leading to concerns regarding the status of polar bear populations. Here we present findings from long-term studies of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) region of the U.S. and Canada, which are relevant to these concerns. We applied open population capture-recapture models to data collected from 2001 to 2006, and estimated there were 1,526 (95% CI = 1,211; 1,841) polar bears in the SBS region in 2006. The number of polar bears in this region was previously estimated to be approximately 1,800. Because precision of earlier estimates was low, our current estimate of population size and the earlier ones cannot be statistically differentiated. For the 2001-06 period, the best fitting capture-recapture model provided estimates of total apparent survival of 0.43 for cubs of the year (COYs), and 0.92 for all polar bears older than COYs. Because the survival rates for older polar bears included multiple sex and age strata, they could not be compared to previous estimates. Survival rates for COYs, however, were significantly lower than estimates derived in earlier studies (P = 0.03). The lower survival of COYs was corroborated by a comparison of the number of COYs per adult female for periods before (1967-89) and after (1990-2006) the winter of 1989-90, when warming temperatures and altered atmospheric circulation caused an abrupt change in sea ice conditions in the Arctic basin. In the latter period, there were significantly more COYs per adult female in the spring (P = 0.02), and significantly fewer COYs per adult female in the autumn (P < 0.001). Apparently, cub production was higher in the latter period, but fewer cubs survived beyond the first 6 months of life. Parallel with declining survival, skull measurements suggested that COYs captured from 1990 to 2006 were smaller than those captured before 1990

  19. A Mathematical Model of Sea Breezes Along the Alaskan Beaufort Sea Coast: Part II.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozo, Thomas L.

    1982-07-01

    A nonlinear, time-dependent, two-dimensional sea breeze model allowing imposition of prevailing large-scale wind conditions has been developed. The model is an extension of Estoque's model with modifications in the treatment of the continuity equation, eddy diffusivity (unstable conditions), surface heating function and the numerical scheme.The model is applied to a cross section of the Beaufort Sea Coast using typically measured arctic conditions as input. These include u-w plane velocity vectors, isotachs of the u, v and w wind velocity components, temperature contours, surface wind vectors at varying distances from the coastline, and wind speed and direction profiles for various simulated synoptic wind directions.The mathematical results reproduced measurements of atmospheric boundary layer turning of the wind with height (pilot balloon data), temporal surface wind vector turning and inversion height variations, while also giving evidence that sea breeze circulation could be strengthened by weak offshore (southwesterly and westerly winds) opposing synoptic winds.

  20. Bowhead whale body condition and links to summer sea ice and upwelling in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    George, John C.; Druckenmiller, Matthew L.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Suydam, Robert; Person, Brian

    2015-08-01

    We examined the response of bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) body condition to summer sea ice conditions and upwelling-favorable winds. We used a long-term dataset collected from whales of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas (BCB) stock to estimate various body condition indices (BCI's) for individual whales that were harvested by Alaskan Eskimos. A series of offshore regions frequented by bowhead whales in summer were delineated and used to quantify interannual summertime environmental conditions including: (a) mean open water fraction, (b) duration of melt season, (c) date of continuous freeze-up, and (d) mean upwelling-favorable wind stress. Body condition was analyzed relative to these metrics for both the preceding summer feeding season and the previous three seasons combined. Our analysis indicates a significant increase in the long-term trend in an axillary girth-based body condition index (BCIG) over the study period (1989-2011). The increase in BCIG is likely associated with the trend in overall reduction of sea ice, including increased duration of open water, changes in upwelling potential (wind stress), and possibly higher primary production in the Pacific Arctic marine ecosystem favoring water-column invertebrates. We found strong significant positive correlations between BCIG and late summer open water fraction in the Beaufort Sea and smaller nearshore areas off the Mackenzie Delta and west of Banks Island. Additionally, BCIG was positively and significantly correlated with duration of melt season, later date of freeze-up in the Beaufort Sea, and upwelling-favorable winds on the Mackenzie shelf and west of Banks Island. A strong seasonal difference in BCI's was noted for subadult bowheads, presumably associated with summer feeding; however, yearlings were found to drop in BCI over at least the first summer after weaning. Our results indicate an overall increase in bowhead whale body condition and a positive correlation with summer sea ice loss over the

  1. Physical Processes contributing to an ice free Beaufort Sea during September 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babb, D.; Galley, R.; Barber, D. G.; Rysgaard, S.

    2016-12-01

    During the record September 2012 sea ice minimum the Beaufort Sea became ice free for the first time during the observational record. Increased dynamic activity during late winter enabled increased open water and seasonal ice coverage that contributed to negative sea ice anomalies and positive solar absorption anomalies which drove rapid bottom melt and sea ice loss. As had happened in the Beaufort Sea during previous years of exceptionally low September sea ice extent, anomalous solar absorption developed during May, increased during June, peaked during July and persisted into October. However in situ observations from a single floe reveal less than 78% of the energy required for bottom melt during 2012 was available from solar absorption. We show that the 2012 sea ice minimum in the Beaufort was the result of anomalously large solar absorption that was compounded by an arctic cyclone and other sources of heat such as solar transmission, oceanic upwelling and riverine inputs, but was ultimately made possible through years of preconditioning towards a younger, thinner ice pack. Significant negative trends in sea ice concentration between 1979 and 2012 from June to October, coupled with a tendency towards earlier sea ice reductions have fostered a significant trend of +12.9 MJ m-2 year-1 in cumulative solar absorption, sufficient to melt an additional 4.3 cm m-2 year-1. Overall through preconditioning towards a younger, thinner ice pack the Beaufort Sea has become increasingly susceptible to increased sea ice loss that may render it ice free more frequently in coming years.

  2. Physical processes contributing to an ice free Beaufort Sea during September 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babb, D. G.; Galley, R. J.; Barber, D. G.; Rysgaard, S.

    2016-01-01

    During the record September 2012 sea ice minimum, the Beaufort Sea became ice free for the first time during the observational record. Increased dynamic activity during late winter enabled increased open water and seasonal ice coverage that contributed to negative sea ice anomalies and positive solar absorption anomalies which drove rapid bottom melt and sea ice loss. As had happened in the Beaufort Sea during previous years of exceptionally low September sea ice extent, anomalous solar absorption developed during May, increased during June, peaked during July, and persisted into October. However in situ observations from a single floe reveal less than 78% of the energy required for bottom melt during 2012 was available from solar absorption. We show that the 2012 sea ice minimum in the Beaufort was the result of anomalously large solar absorption that was compounded by an arctic cyclone and other sources of heat such as solar transmission, oceanic upwelling, and riverine inputs, but was ultimately made possible through years of preconditioning toward a younger, thinner ice pack. Significant negative trends in sea ice concentration between 1979 and 2012 from June to October, coupled with a tendency toward earlier sea ice reductions have fostered a significant trend of +12.9 MJ m-2 yr-1 in cumulative solar absorption, sufficient to melt an additional 4.3 cm m-2 yr-1. Overall through preconditioning toward a younger, thinner ice pack the Beaufort Sea has become increasingly susceptible to increased sea ice loss that may render it ice free more frequently in coming years.

  3. Fish communities across a spectrum of habitats in the western Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Logerwell, E.; Busby, M.; Carothers, C.; Cotton, S.; Duffy-Anderson, J.; Farley, E.; Goddard, P.; Heintz, R.; Holladay, B.; Horne, J.; Johnson, S.; Lauth, B.; Moulton, L.; Neff, D.; Norcross, B.; Parker-Stetter, S.; Seigle, J.; Sformo, T.

    2015-08-01

    The increased scientific interest in the Arctic due to climate change and potential oil and gas development has resulted in numerous surveys of Arctic marine fish communities since the mid-2000s. Surveys have been conducted in nearly all Arctic marine fish habitats: from lagoons, beaches and across the continental shelf and slope. This provides an opportunity only recently available to study Arctic fish communities across a spectrum of habitats. We examined fish survey data from lagoon, beach, nearshore benthic, shelf pelagic and shelf benthic habitats in the western Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea. Specifically, we compare and contrast relative fish abundance and length (a proxy for age) among habitats and seas. We also examined ichthyoplankton presence/absence and abundance of dominant taxa in the shelf habitat. Our synthesis revealed more similarities than differences between the two seas. For example, our results show that the nearshore habitat is utilized by forage fish across age classes, and is also a nursery area for other species. Our results also indicated that some species may be expanding their range to the north, for example, Chinook Salmon. In addition, we documented the presence of commercially important taxa such as Walleye Pollock and flatfishes (Pleuronectidae). Our synthesis of information on relative abundance and age allowed us to propose detailed conceptual models for the life history distribution of key gadids in Arctic food webs: Arctic and Saffron Cod. Finally, we identify research gaps, such as the need for surveys of the surface waters of the Beaufort Sea, surveys of the lagoons of the Chukchi Sea, and winter season surveys in all areas. We recommend field studies on fish life history that sample multiple age classes in multiple habitats throughout the year to confirm, resolve and interpret the patterns in fish habitat use that we observed.

  4. A practical method for long-range forecasting of ice severity in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drobot, Sheldon D.; Maslanik, James A.

    2002-04-01

    A linear regression model is used to forecast end of summer ice conditions in the Beaufort Sea with a few months lead-time. The model retains four sea ice and atmospheric parameters, where decreased spring total and winter multiyear ice concentrations, negative October East Atlantic phases, and positive March North Atlantic Oscillation phases are associated with lighter sea ice conditions. Monte Carlo simulations suggest that the results are not adversely affected by artificial skill, while Durbin-Watson and Variance Inflation Factor statistics imply the final model is statistically valid. Cross validation diagnostics indicate that variations in the four predictors are related to 85% of the variation in sea ice conditions, suggesting that a relatively simple ice-atmosphere statistical model can be used to forecast end of summer ice conditions in the Beaufort Sea.

  5. The Influence of Terrestrial Matter in Marine Food Webs of the Beaufort Sea Shelf and Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, L.; Iken, K.; Bluhm, B.

    2016-02-01

    Forecasted increases in terrestrial organic matter (OMterr) inputs to the Beaufort Sea necessitate a better understanding of the contribution of this organic matter food source to the trophic structure of marine communities. This study investigated the relative ecological importance of OMterr across the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope by examining differences in community trophic structure concurrent with variation in terrestrial versus marine organic matter influence. Interannual variability in organism trophic level was assessed to confirm the persistent impact of these large-scale patterns in food source distribution on marine consumers. Oxygen stable isotope ratios (δ18O) of surface water confirmed the widespread influence of Canada's Mackenzie River plume across the Beaufort Sea. Carbon stable isotope ratios (δ13C values) of pelagic particulate organic matter (pPOM) and marine consumers from locations ranging from 20 to 1000 m bottom depth revealed a strong isotopic imprint of OMterr in the eastern Beaufort Sea, which decreased westward from the Mackenzie River. Food web length, based on the nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ15N values) of marine consumers, was greater closer to the Mackenzie River outflow both in shelf and slope locations due to relatively higher δ15N values of pelagic and benthic primary consumers. Strong microbial processing of OMterr in the eastern regions of the Beaufort Sea is inferred based on a trophic gap between sources and lower trophic consumers. A large proportion of epifaunal biomass occupying higher trophic levels suggests that OMterr as a basal food source can provide substantial energetic support for higher marine trophic levels. These findings support the concept that terrestrial matter is an important source in the Arctic marine food web, and compel a more specific understanding of energy transfer through the OMterr-associated microbial loop.

  6. Trace metal contamination of Beaufort's Dyke, North Channel, Irish Sea: a legacy of ordnance disposal.

    PubMed

    Callaway, Alexander; Quinn, Rory; Brown, Craig J; Service, Matthew; Benetti, Sara

    2011-11-01

    Beaufort's Dyke is a disused ordnance disposal ground within the North Channel of the Irish Sea. Over 1 million tonnes of ordnance were disposed of in the dyke over a 40 year period representing a substantial volume of trace metal pollutants introduced to the seabed. Utilising particle transport modelling software we simulated the potential transport of metal particles from Beaufort's Dyke over a 3 month period. This demonstrated that Beaufort's Dyke has the potential to act as a source for trace metal contamination to areas beyond the submarine valley. Trace metal analysis of sediments from the Dyke and surrounding National Marine Monitoring Programme areas demonstrate that the Dyke is not the most contaminated site in the region. Particle transport modelling enables the transport pathways of trace metal contaminants to be predicted. Implementation of the technique in other munitions disposal grounds will provide valuable information for the selection of monitoring stations. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Microsatellite DNA and mitochondrial DNA variation in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, M.A.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Scribner, K.T.

    2006-01-01

    Radiotelemetry data have shown that polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) occur in separate subpopulations in the Chukchi Sea and the southern Beaufort Sea. However, segregation is not absolute, and there is overlap of ranges of animals in each subpopulation. We used genetic variation at eight microsatellite DNA loci and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to further assess the degree of spatial structure of polar bears from the Chukchi and southern Beaufort seas. Microsatellite allele frequencies and mtDNA haplotype frequencies of bears from the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas did not differ significantly. Lack of differentiation at both maternally inherited mtDNA and bi-parentally inherited microsatellite loci suggests that gene flow between the two areas is mediated by both sexes. The genetic data indicate that polar bears in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas compose one interbreeding population. However, there is considerable fidelity to ranges in each area, particularly by adult females. The combined genetic and movement data suggest that polar bears could be managed as Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea subpopulations of a combined southern Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea population. ?? 2006 NRC.

  8. Survival and breeding of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea in relation to sea ice.

    PubMed

    Regehr, Eric V; Hunter, Christine M; Caswell, Hal; Amstrup, Steven C; Stirling, Ian

    2010-01-01

    1. Observed and predicted declines in Arctic sea ice have raised concerns about marine mammals. In May 2008, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed polar bears (Ursus maritimus) - one of the most ice-dependent marine mammals - as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. 2. We evaluated the effects of sea ice conditions on vital rates (survival and breeding probabilities) for polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. Although sea ice declines in this and other regions of the polar basin have been among the greatest in the Arctic, to date population-level effects of sea ice loss on polar bears have only been identified in western Hudson Bay, near the southern limit of the species' range. 3. We estimated vital rates using multistate capture-recapture models that classified individuals by sex, age and reproductive category. We used multimodel inference to evaluate a range of statistical models, all of which were structurally based on the polar bear life cycle. We estimated parameters by model averaging, and developed a parametric bootstrap procedure to quantify parameter uncertainty. 4. In the most supported models, polar bear survival declined with an increasing number of days per year that waters over the continental shelf were ice free. In 2001-2003, the ice-free period was relatively short (mean 101 days) and adult female survival was high (0.96-0.99, depending on reproductive state). In 2004 and 2005, the ice-free period was longer (mean 135 days) and adult female survival was low (0.73-0.79, depending on reproductive state). Breeding rates and cub litter survival also declined with increasing duration of the ice-free period. Confidence intervals on vital rate estimates were wide. 5. The effects of sea ice loss on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may apply to polar bear populations in other portions of the polar basin that have similar sea ice dynamics and have experienced similar, or more severe, sea ice declines. Our findings therefore are

  9. Survival and breeding of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea in relation to sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Regehr, E.V.; Hunter, C.M.; Caswell, H.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, I.

    2010-01-01

    1. Observed and predicted declines in Arctic sea ice have raised concerns about marine mammals. In May 2008, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed polar bears (Ursus maritimus) - one of the most ice-dependent marine mammals - as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. 2. We evaluated the effects of sea ice conditions on vital rates (survival and breeding probabilities) for polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. Although sea ice declines in this and other regions of the polar basin have been among the greatest in the Arctic, to date population-level effects of sea ice loss on polar bears have only been identified in western Hudson Bay, near the southern limit of the species' range. 3. We estimated vital rates using multistate capture-recapture models that classified individuals by sex, age and reproductive category. We used multimodel inference to evaluate a range of statistical models, all of which were structurally based on the polar bear life cycle. We estimated parameters by model averaging, and developed a parametric bootstrap procedure to quantify parameter uncertainty. 4. In the most supported models, polar bear survival declined with an increasing number of days per year that waters over the continental shelf were ice free. In 2001-2003, the ice-free period was relatively short (mean 101 days) and adult female survival was high (0 ∙ 96-0 ∙ 99, depending on reproductive state). In 2004 and 2005, the ice-free period was longer (mean 135 days) and adult female survival was low (0 ∙ 73-0 ∙ 79, depending on reproductive state). Breeding rates and cub litter survival also declined with increasing duration of the ice-free period. Confidence intervals on vital rate estimates were wide. 5. The effects of sea ice loss on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may apply to polar bear populations in other portions of the polar basin that have similar sea ice dynamics and have experienced similar, or more severe, sea ice declines. Our findings

  10. Emerging trends in the sea state of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomson, Jim; Fan, Yalin; Stammerjohn, Sharon; Stopa, Justin; Rogers, W. Erick; Girard-Ardhuin, Fanny; Ardhuin, Fabrice; Shen, Hayley; Perrie, Will; Shen, Hui; Ackley, Steve; Babanin, Alex; Liu, Qingxiang; Guest, Peter; Maksym, Ted; Wadhams, Peter; Fairall, Chris; Persson, Ola; Doble, Martin; Graber, Hans; Lund, Bjoern; Squire, Vernon; Gemmrich, Johannes; Lehner, Susanne; Holt, Benjamin; Meylan, Mike; Brozena, John; Bidlot, Jean-Raymond

    2016-09-01

    The sea state of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas is controlled by the wind forcing and the amount of ice-free water available to generate surface waves. Clear trends in the annual duration of the open water season and in the extent of the seasonal sea ice minimum suggest that the sea state should be increasing, independent of changes in the wind forcing. Wave model hindcasts from four selected years spanning recent conditions are consistent with this expectation. In particular, larger waves are more common in years with less summer sea ice and/or a longer open water season, and peak wave periods are generally longer. The increase in wave energy may affect both the coastal zones and the remaining summer ice pack, as well as delay the autumn ice-edge advance. However, trends in the amount of wave energy impinging on the ice-edge are inconclusive, and the associated processes, especially in the autumn period of new ice formation, have yet to be well-described by in situ observations. There is an implicit trend and evidence for increasing wave energy along the coast of northern Alaska, and this coastal signal is corroborated by satellite altimeter estimates of wave energy.

  11. Geologic framework, petroleum potential, and environmental geology of the United States Beaufort and northeasternmost Chukchi Seas

    SciTech Connect

    Grantz, A.; May, S.D.; Dinter, D.A.

    1989-01-01

    The Beaufort and northeasternmost Chukchi Seas offer petroleum explorationists a promising terrane for medium to giant oil and gas accumulations, but the area is the most environmentally difficult region for petroleum exploration and development in the Nation. The region lies adjacent to the North Slope of Alaska, which is served by the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), a common carrier that would provide an outlet for oil brought to its northern terminus near Prudhoe Bay. If the proposed Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System is also built, its pipeline and terminus near Prudhoe Bay would provide the means for carrying offshore natural gas to market. The feasibility of economically transporting large volumes of oil or gas by tanker year-round from the Beaufort Sea to markets in the conterminous United States has yet to be demonstrated. This chapter gives an overview of the geologic framework, petroleum potential, and environmental geology of the Alaskan Beaufort and northeasternmost Chukchi Seas. The principal data base consists of the multichannel seismic-reflection profiles and accompanying high-resolution profiles shown in figure 11.1 and some additional single-channel seismic-reflection profiles, sonobuoy refraction measurements, seabed samples, and bathymetric data. The study area includes the entire Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea and most of the OCS in the northeastern Chukchi Sea. Most of the continental shelf north of Alaska consists of areas shallower than 60 m (200 ft), where the national petroleum Council considers that the petroleum industry can now confidently proceed with operations. Sea-ice conditions in this area during late September, the usual period of maximum retreat, are shown. The base maps in this report use the conformal polar stereographic projection.

  12. Seasonal Ice loss in the Beaufort Sea: Toward Synchronicity and Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steele, M.; Dickinson, S.; Zhang, J.; Lindsay, R. W.

    2014-12-01

    The seasonal evolution of sea ice loss in the Beaufort Sea during 1979-2012 is examined, focusing on spatial differences between eastern and western sectors. Two stages in ice loss are identified: "opening" is defined as the spring decrease in ice concentration from its winter maximum below a value of 80% areal concentration; "retreat" is the summer decrease below 15% concentration. We consider three aspects of the problem, i.e. (i) the long-term mean, (ii) long-term linear trends, and (iii) year-to-year variability. We find that in the mean, ice opening occurs earliest in the southeast Beaufort Sea (SEB), forced by atmospheric heating acting on particularly thin ice relative to the southwestern Beaufort Sea (SWB). This thin SEB ice arises from divergence forced by easterly winds in fall and spring. There is no significant long-term trend in the date of SEB ice opening, although ice opening in the SWB is in fact trending toward earlier dates. This means that spatial differences in opening dates across the Beaufort Sea have been shrinking over the past 33 years, i.e., these dates are becoming more synchronous, a situation which may impact human and marine mammal activity in the area. Synchronicity in ice retreat dates is also increasing, although with no statistical significance at this time. Finally, we find that in any given year, an increase in monthly mean easterly winds of ~ 1 m/s during spring is associated with earlier summer retreat of 9-15 days, offering predictive capability with 1-2 months lead time.

  13. Waves in the Beaufort Sea Miz: First Results from a 30 Wavebuoy Array

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doble, M. J.; Wadhams, P.; Wilkinson, J.

    2014-12-01

    We present preliminary results from this year's deployment of 30 wavebuoys into the Beaufort Sea drifting ice cover. The buoys were deployed in two phases, both as part of the Office of Naval Research Marginal Ice Zone Departmental Research Initiative. 20 buoys were deployed into the continuous pack ice using aircraft-staged camps from Banks Island in March/April 2014, and the remaining 10 buoys were deployed from the South Korean icebreaker Araon in August 2014. All buoys transmitted continous timeseries of heave, roll and tilt - sampled at 1Hz - over the Iridium satellite network, along with their GPS positions. The goal is to examine the attenuation of storm-driven ocean waves as they enter and fracture the Beaufort Sea ice cover. These data are presented and the evolution of the directional wave field as it travels through the ice cover is examined.

  14. Environmental Drivers of Inter-annual Variability in Beaufort Sea Marine Fish Community Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majewski, A.; Atchison, S.; Eert, J.; Dempsey, M.; MacPhee, S.; Michel, C.; Reist, J.

    2016-02-01

    The Beaufort Sea is a complex and dynamic system influenced by a wide suite of oceanic and riverine inputs that affect the ecosystem. Interactions within the resulting water masses are largely driven by factors such as precipitation, wind, and ice cover. Thus, the Beaufort Sea environment is highly variable in both space and time, and this variability is reflected in the habitats of biota. Inherent system variability must be factored into baselines designed to detect changes resulting from anthropogenic stressors and natural drivers. Between 2012 and 2014, Fisheries and Oceans Canada conducted the first baseline survey of offshore marine fishes, their habitats, and ecological relationships in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. In 2012, benthic trawling was conducted at 28 stations spanning 20-1000 m depths across shelf and slope habitats, and selected stations were re-sampled in 2013 and 2014. Concurrent sampling of oceanographic parameters and sediment composition was conducted at each station. We examine the stability of marine fish assemblages over a three-year period, and compare results for shelf stations to previous research to develop longer-term perspectives. Oceanographic (e.g., salinity), physical (e.g., depth and sediment grain size) and geographic (e.g., distance from shore) parameters, and proxies for local productivity (i.e., water-column and benthic chlorophyll) are explored as explanatory variables affecting fish community structure among years. Establishing knowledge baselines and understanding variability in the community structure and habitat associations of Beaufort Sea marine fishes will support mitigation and conservation efforts by enhancing our ability to predict, detect and monitor the effects of hydrocarbon development and climate change on this pivotal ecosystem component.

  15. The delivery of mercury to the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean by the Mackenzie River.

    PubMed

    Leitch, Daniel R; Carrie, Jesse; Lean, David; Macdonald, Robie W; Stern, Gary A; Wang, Feiyue

    2007-02-01

    Very high levels of mercury (Hg) have recently been reported in marine mammals and other higher trophic-level biota in the Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea of the western Arctic Ocean. To quantify the input of Hg (particulate, dissolved and methylated) by the Mackenzie River as a potential source for Hg in the ecosystem, surface water and sediment samples were taken from 79 sites in the lower Mackenzie Basin during three consecutive summers (2003-2005) and analyzed for Hg and methylmercury (MeHg). Intensive studies were also carried out in the Mackenzie Delta during the freshets of 2004 and 2005. Large seasonal and annual variations were found in Hg concentrations in the river, coincident with the variations in water discharge. Increased discharges during spring freshet and during the summers of 2003 and 2005 compared to 2004 were mirrored by higher Hg concentrations. The correlation between Hg concentration and riverflow suggests additional Hg sources during periods of high water, potentially from increased surface inundation and increased bank erosion. The increase in the Hg concentration with increasing water discharge amplifies the annual Hg and MeHg fluxes during high water level years. For the period 2003-2005, the Hg and MeHg fluxes from the Mackenzie River to the Beaufort Sea averaged 2.2 tonnes/yr and 15 kg/yr, respectively, the largest known Hg source to the Beaufort Sea. More than half of the mercury flux occurs during the short spring freshet season which coincides with the period of rapid growth of marine biota. Consequently, the Mackenzie River input potentially provides the major mercury source to marine mammals of the Beaufort Sea. The Hg and MeHg fluxes from the Mackenzie River are expected to further increase with the projected climate warming in the Mackenzie Basin.

  16. An Inverse Model of Double Diffusive Convection in the Beaufort Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-12-01

    Master’s Thesis 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE An Inverse Model of Double Diffusive Convection in the Beaufort Sea 6. AUTHOR(S) Jeremiah E. Chaplin 5 ...convection and mixing within the homogeneous layers............................... 5 Figure 4. Ice tethered profiler system....................14...Figure 5 . Location of ITP 1-6.............................15 Figure 6. Temperature – Salinity plot for ITPs 1-6........18 Figure 7. Histogram of data

  17. The climatology of the Alaska Beaufort Sea shelf told by brittle star population dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravelo, A.; Konar, B.; Bluhm, B.; Iken, K.

    2016-02-01

    Brittle stars are a key component of Arctic benthic shelf systems due to their high standing stock, dominance in abundance over all other epibenthic organisms, and as prey for higher trophic organisms. On the Alaskan Arctic shelves, the circumboreal species Ophiura sarsii and Ophiocten sericeum are the dominant brittle stars with densities of up to 260 ind. m-2 and 20 ind. m-2, respectively. Although present across all Alaska Arctic shelves these specie have a segregated distribution; O. sarsii dominates the more productive Chukchi and western Beaufort Sea shelves and O. sericeum dominates the more river influenced Beaufort Sea shelf east of 150°W. Despite the pervasiveness of these species, little is known of their population parameters, the stability of their respective distribution patterns over time, or the factors that contribute to their geographic distribution. The objective of this study was to analyze the population size structure, growth, productivity, and distribution of the two species. Our results indicate that O. sarsii grows faster and lives longer than O. sericeum, and at equal body size, O. sarsii has significantly higher organic mass compared to O. sericeum. Compared to early records, we observed a shift in the distribution of the two species on the Alaska Beaufort Sea shelf over the past 40 years. Changes in intensity and frequency of easterly wind events over the western Beaufort Sea may be a key factor driving the distribution expansion of O. sericeum and the retreat of O. sarsii towards the west in this region. Considering the significant difference in these species' growth rate and organic mass content, the consequences of this distribution shift for brittle star predators and benthic community remineralization may be substantial.

  18. Recent observations of intraspecific predation and cannibalism among polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, I.; Smith, T.S.; Perham, C.; Thiemann, G.W.

    2006-01-01

    Intraspecific killing has been reported among polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus). Although cannibalism is one motivation for such killings, the ecological factors mediating such events are poorly understood. Between 24 January and 10 April 2004, we confirmed three instances of intraspecific predation and cannibalism in the Beaufort Sea. One of these, the first of this type ever reported for polar bears, was a parturient female killed at her maternal den. The predating bear was hunting in a known maternal denning area and apparently discovered the den by scent. A second predation event involved an adult female and cub recently emerged from their den, and the third involved a yearling male. During 24 years of research on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea region of northern Alaska and 34 years in northwestern Canada, we have not seen other incidents of polar bears stalking, killing, and eating other polar bears. We hypothesize that nutritional stresses related to the longer ice-free seasons that have occurred in the Beaufort Sea in recent years may have led to the cannibalism incidents we observed in 2004. ?? Springer-Verlag 2006.

  19. Observed sea ice thickness changes in the Beaufort Gyre through synthesis of Eulerian and Lagrangian data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahoney, A. R.; Hutchings, J. K.; Haas, C.; Eicken, H.

    2014-12-01

    In-situ and satellite observations have shown significant reductions in the extent and thickness of Arctic sea ice, which are considered by many to be evidence of major cryospheric changes amplifying global climate change. Multiyear (MY) sea ice thinning and retreat of the oldest and thickest ice, will accelerate further ice loss. MY sea ice also represents the greatest impediment to navigation in the Arctic and greatest hazard to marine infrastructure. Recirculation of sea ice within the Beaufort Gyre is critical to the replenishment of MY ice lost from the Arctic through either melt or export. Here we analyze thickness changes of sea ice as it drifts in different regions of the Gyre. Using a combined Eulerian-Lagrangian approach we identify satellite-tracked buoys that made repeat overpasses within 30 km of four moored ice profiling sonars (IPSs), which comprise part of the Beaufort Gyre Exploration Program (BGEP). Using the IPS data, we derive ice draft distributions corresponding to each of these overpasses, which allows tracking of changes in the ice thickness in vicinity of each buoy. Changes in modal values of ice thickness during winter agree with simple models of thermodynamic growth.In the case of one buoy that made a total of four overpasses (see figure below), a dramatic shift in a secondary modal thickness during the summer of 2007 agrees well the magnitude of melt recorded by a nearby ice mass balance buoy (IMB). To extend the number of repeat passes, we generate pseudo-Langrangian ice drift tracks using daily gridded fields of satellite-derived ice velocity. This allows us to deploy "numerical buoys" every day anywhere in the Arctic. Using this approach we identify numerous cases where sea ice observed over one mooring persistently drifts over another. Such inter-mooring ice advection events allow us to examine how sea ice thickness distribution in the Beaufort Gyre is influenced by dynamic and thermodynamic processes processes.

  20. Regional-Scale Variability of Macrofauna Species Assemblages and Environmental Drivers in the Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majewski, A.; MacPhee, S.; de Montety, L.; Reist, J.; Archambault, P.

    2016-02-01

    Appropriate marine spatial planning is needed to address pressures associated with climate change, resource exploration and increased shipping in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Information regarding the spatial variability of species assemblages and the factors that structure them are required, for example, in designing networks of marine protected areas and establishing reference conditions for assessing anthropogenic activities anticipated to have regional-scale effects. Benthic macrofauna have been widely applied as ecological indicators in many marine regions because they are relatively sessile, long-lived, and respond to environmental gradients in a predictable manner. Recently, significant progress has been made toward reporting Arctic macrofaunal biodiversity baselines across large spatial scales (i.e. pan-Arctic, Canadian Arctic) and at local-scales within the Beaufort Sea around specific geographic features (e.g., Beaufort Shelf, polynyas and areas of upwelling, lease blocks). Systematic, regional-scale surveys, however, remain a gap. Benthic ecosystem components were sampled across a broad depth range (20 - 1500m) from the transboundary region of the Yukon-Alaska border into Amundsen Gulf, and multivariate analyses of these novel survey data characterize spatial variability in macrobenthic community structure. Relationships between species assemblages and environmental drivers including depth, bottom type (e.g., granulometry), water mass characteristics (e.g., temperature, salinity) and benthic food proxies (e.g., %organic matter, benthic chlorophyll concentration) were examined. This regional-scale approach based on a systematic, transect-based survey design covers a significant portion of the Canadian Beaufort Sea and expands existing biodiversity baselines to deeper sites beyond the continental shelf break. This work has direct application to developing predictive models, habitat maps and biotic indicators for monitoring.

  1. Sediment transport by sea ice in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas: Increasing importance due to changing ice conditions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicken, H.; Gradinger, R.; Gaylord, A.; Mahoney, A.; Rigor, I.; Melling, H.

    2005-12-01

    Sediment-laden sea ice is widespread over the shallow, wide Siberian Arctic shelves, with off-shelf export from the Laptev and East Siberian Seas contributing substantially to the Arctic Ocean's sediment budget. By contrast, the North American shelves, owing to their narrow width and greater water depths, have not been deemed as important for basin-wide sediment transport by sea ice. Observations over the Chukchi and Beaufort shelves in 2001/02 revealed the widespread occurrence of sediment-laden ice over an area of more than 100,000 km 2 between 68 and 74°N and 155 and 170°W. Ice stratigraphic studies indicate that sediment inclusions were associated with entrainment of frazil ice into deformed, multiple layers of rafted nilas, indicative of a flaw-lead environment adjacent to the landfast ice of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. This is corroborated by buoy trajectories and satellite imagery indicating entrainment in a coastal polynya in the eastern Chukchi Sea in February of 2002 as well as formation of sediment-laden ice along the Beaufort Sea coast as far eastward as the Mackenzie shelf. Moored upward-looking sonar on the Mackenzie shelf provides further insight into the ice growth and deformation regime governing sediment entrainment. Analysis of Radarsat Synthetic Aperture (SAR) imagery in conjunction with bathymetric data help constrain the water depth of sediment resuspension and subsequent ice entrainment (>20 m for the Chukchi Sea). Sediment loads averaged at 128 t km -2, with sediment occurring in layers of roughly 0.5 m thickness, mostly in the lower ice layers. The total amount of sediment transported by sea ice (mostly out of the narrow zone between the landfast ice edge and waters too deep for resuspension and entrainment) is at minimum 4×10 6 t in the sampling area and is estimated at 5-8×10 6 t over the entire Chukchi and Beaufort shelves in 2001/02, representing a significant term in the sediment budget of the western Arctic Ocean. Recent

  2. The Effect of Recent Decreases in Sea Ice Extent and Increases in SST on the Seasonal Availability of Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida) to Seabirds in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Divoky, G.; Druckenmiller, M. L.

    2016-02-01

    With major decreases in pan-Arctic summer sea ice extent steadily underway, the Beaufort Sea has been nearly ice-free in five of the last eight summers. This loss of a critical arctic marine habitat and the concurrent warming of the recently ice-free waters could potentially cause major changes in the biological oceanography of the Beaufort Sea and alter the distribution, abundance and condition of the region's upper trophic level predators that formerly relied on prey associated with sea ice or cold (<2°C) surface waters. Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), the primary forage fish for seabirds in the Beaufort Sea, is part of the cryopelagic fauna associated with sea ice and is also found in adjacent ice-free waters. In the extreme western Beaufort Sea near Cooper Island, Arctic cod availability to breeding Black Guillemots (Cepphus grylle), a diving seabird, has declined since 2002. Guillemots are a good indicator of Arctic cod availability in surface waters and the upper water column as they feed at depths of 1-20m. Currently, when sea ice is absent from the nearshore and SST exceeds 4°C, guillemots are observed to seasonally shift from Arctic cod to nearshore demersal prey, with a resulting decrease in nestling survival and quality. Arctic cod is the primary prey for many of the seabirds utilizing the Beaufort Sea as a post-breeding staging area and migratory corridor in late summer and early fall. The loss of approximately 200-300 thousand sq km of summer sea ice habitat in recent years could be expected to affect the distribution, abundance, and movements of these species as there are few alternative fish resources in the region. We examine temporal and spatial variation in August sea ice extent and SST in the Beaufort Sea to determine the regions, periods and bird species that are potentially most affected as the Beaufort Sea transitions to becoming regularly ice-free in late summer.

  3. Submarine slope failures in the Beaufort Sea; Influence of gas hydrate decomposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grozic, J. L.; Dallimore, S.

    2012-12-01

    The continental shelf of the Beaufort Sea is composed of complex of marine and non-marine sequences of clay, silt, and sand. In many areas of the shelf these sediments contain occurrences of ice-bonded permafrost and associated pressure and temperature conditions that are conducive to the occurrence of methane gas hydrates. This complex environment is undergoing dramatic warming, where changes in sea level, ocean bottom temperatures, and geothermal regimes are inducing permafrost thawing and gas hydrate decomposition. Decomposition is inferred to be occurring at the base and top of the gas hydrate stability zone, which will cause sediment weakening and the generation of excess water and free gas. In such settings, the overlying permafrost cap may act as a permeability barrier, which could result in significant excess pore pressures and reduction in sediment stability. The shelf to slope transition is thought to be an area of extensive regional instability with acoustic records indicating there is upwards of 500 km of slumps and glides extending over the entire Beaufort margin. Some of these slide regions are coincident with up-dip limit of the permafrost gas hydrate stability zone. In this paper, a two dimensional model of the Beaufort shelf was constructed to examine the influence of gas hydrate decomposition on slope stability. The model relies on available data on the Beaufort sediments generated from offshore hydrocarbon exploration in the 1980s and 90s, as well as knowledge available from multidisciplinary marine research programs conducted in the outer shelf area. The slope stability model investigates the influence of marine transgression and ocean bottom warming by coupling soil deformation with hydrate dissociation during undrained conditions. By combining mechanical and thermal loading of the sediment, a more accurate indication of slope stability was obtained. The stability analysis results indicate a relatively low factor of safety for the Beaufort

  4. Sea ice circulation around the Beaufort Gyre: The changing role of wind forcing and the sea ice state

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petty, Alek A.; Hutchings, Jennifer K.; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A.; Tschudi, Mark A.

    2016-05-01

    Sea ice drift estimates from feature tracking of satellite passive microwave data are used to investigate seasonal trends and variability in the ice circulation around the Beaufort Gyre, over the multidecadal period 1980-2013. Our results suggest an amplified response of the Beaufort Gyre ice circulation to wind forcing, especially during the late 2000s. We find increasing anticyclonic ice drift across all seasons, with the strongest trend in autumn, associated with increased ice export out of the southern Beaufort Sea (into the Chukchi Sea). A flux gate analysis highlights consistency across a suite of drift products. Despite these seasonal anticyclonic ice drift trends, a significant anticyclonic wind trend occurs in summer only, driven, in-part, by anomalously anticyclonic winds in 2007. Across all seasons, the ice drift curl is more anticyclonic than predicted from a linear relationship to the wind curl in the 2000s, compared to the 1980s/1990s. The strength of this anticyclonic ice drift curl amplification is strongest in autumn and appears to have increased since the 1980s (up to 2010). In spring and summer, the ice drift curl amplification occurs mainly between 2007 and 2010. These results suggest nonlinear ice interaction feedbacks (e.g., a weaker, more mobile sea ice pack), enhanced atmospheric drag, and/or an increased role of the ocean. The results also show a weakening of the anticyclonic wind and ice circulation since 2010.

  5. Ice rafting of fine-grained sediment, a sorting and transport mechanism, Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, P.W.; Reimnitz, E.; Fox, D.

    1982-01-01

    The presence of turbid, sediment-rich fast ice in the Arctic is a major factor affecting transport of fine-grained sediment. Observers have documented the widespread, sporadic occurrence of sediment- rich fast ice in both the Beaufort and Bering Seas. The occurrence of sediment in only the upper part of the seasonal fast ice indicates that sediment-rich ice forms early during ice growth. The most likely mechanism requires resuspension of nearshore bottom sediment during storms, accompanied by formation of frazil ice and subsequent lateral advection before the fast ice is stabilized. We estimate that the sediment incorporated in the Beaufort ice canopy formed a significant proportion of the seasonal influx of terrigenous fine-grained sediment. The dominance of fine-grained sediment suggests that in the Arctic and sub-Arctic these size fractions may be ice rafted in greater volumes than the coarse fraction of traditionally recognized ice-rafted sediment. -from Authors

  6. Air--Sea CO2 Cycling in the Southeastern Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Else, Brent Gordon Thomas

    During the fourth International Polar Year, an interdisciplinary study was conducted to examine the couplings between sea ice, ocean, atmosphere, and ecosystem in the southeastern Beaufort Sea. This thesis examines components of the system that control the air-sea exchange of carbon dioxide. Using eddy covariance measurements, we found enhanced CO2 exchange associated with new ice formation in winter flaw leads. This exchange was typically directed towards the surface, although we also measured one instance of outgassing. Sea surface dissolved CO2 measurements (pCO 2sw) in Amundsen Gulf showed significant undersaturation with respect to the atmosphere at freeze-up, followed by a slow increase over the winter until spring phytoplankton blooms caused strong undersaturation at break-up. Over the summer, pCO2sw increased until becoming slightly supersaturated due to surface warming. Along the southern margins of Amundsen Gulf and on the Mackenzie Shelf we found pCO2sw supersaturations in the fall due to wind-driven coastal upwelling. In the spring, this upwelling occurred along the landfast ice edges of Amundsen Gulf. By combining observations of enhanced winter gas exchange with observations of pCO 2sw in Amundsen Gulf, we derived an annual budget of air-sea CO2 exchange for the region. This exercise showed that uptake through the winter season was as important as the open water season, making the overall annual uptake of CO2 about double what had previously been calculated. Prior to this work, the prevailing paradigm of airsea CO2 cycling in Arctic polynya regions posited that strong CO2 absorption occurs in the open water seasons, and that a potential outgassing during the winter is inhibited by the sea ice cover. As a new paradigm, we propose that the spatial and temporal variability of many processes---including phytoplankton blooms, sea surface temperature and salinity changes, upwelling, river input, continental shelf processes, and the potential for high rates

  7. NOPP: Circulation, Cross-Shelf Exchange, Sea Ice, and Marine Mammal Habitats on the Alaska Beaufort Sea Shelf

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    work, and retrospective analysis of historical physical oceanographic data from the Alaskan Beaufort Sea (ABS) shelf. The field program took place...Zooplankton within a Bowhead Whale Feeding Area near Barrow, AK” led by Dr. Carin Ashjian of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and a third the ONR...included whale recorders (moorings TS2W and BS3W), to enable interpretation of marine mammal recordings in conjunction with the physical

  8. Distribution of dissolved organic matter in the eastern Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea (Barrow Canyon) and Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, Kyung-Hoon; Tanaka, Noriyuki

    2004-12-01

    The distribution of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the western Arctic Ocean is greatly influenced by conservative riverine DOC flux into the northern Bering Sea, Bering Strait and Beaufort Sea, as indicated by an inverse correlation with salinity. Based on the relations between DOC, salinity and seawater temperature, several water masses could be identified. These included riverine water, ice-melt water, surface mixed water, cold and saline shelf water, and Atlantic Ocean water. High concentrations of chlorophyll a and DOC were found in some parcels of dense shelf water in Barrow Canyon. In addition, labile DOC compounds, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), were found in the dense shelf water, suggesting the dense shelf water contains a product (marine organic matter) of the biological CO2 pump.

  9. Scaling Observations of Distance Limited Waves in the Seasonally Ice-Covered Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, M.; Thomson, J.

    2016-02-01

    In the Beaufort Sea, surface waves are affected by rapidly changing sea ice. Sea ice retreat in recent years has left larger expanses of open water for wave generation, leading to unprecedented large waves. Using wave data from 2012, the year of lowest ice extent on record, Thomson and Rogers (Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(9), 2014) showed that wave energy flux in the Arctic Ocean scales with the open water distance to land or ice edge (i.e., the fetch). We refine their results using in situ measurements of the sea state obtained from freely-drifting SWIFT buoys during the 2014 open water season. Satellite ice products are used to derive coincident open water distances and, when applicable, local ice concentrations. We determine that the scaling of wave energy and frequency with open water distance is only appropriate when the wind and wave field are relatively stationary, such that waves can be considered limited by the open water distance. Similarly, waves generated in partial ice cover can be categorized as distance limited using a newly defined "effective fetch" corresponding to the distance between ice floes, so long as the conditions are relatively stationary. Therefore, the evolution of the wave field in the Beaufort Sea is a function of the ice cover at both the local scale, where partial ice cover reduces the effective fetch, and at the basin scale, where the hard ice edge limits the fetch in a more conventional manner.

  10. Interannual Variability and Long-Term Changes of Atmospheric Circulationover the Chukchi-Beaufort Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Qigang; Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Xiangdong

    2013-04-01

    Recent studies have documented many features of the Beaufort Sea High (BSH), including seasonal cycle, temporal variability based on a BSH strength index, and a trend towards a stronger summer BSH that began in the late 1990s. In this study, we will further examine the variability and long-term trends of atmospheric circulation over the Chukchi-Beaufort Seas and northern Alaska using ERA Interim Reanalysis for the period of 1979-2012. To capture the moving feature of the BSH, the EOF analysis is applied to sea level pressure (SLP) field in the Chukchi-Beaufort Seas to investigate the principal patterns of the BSH variability for seasons of springtime (Apr.-May), summertime (Jun.-Aug.), autumn (Sep.-Oct.), and wintertime (Nov.-Mar.). In each season, the leading three EOF modes explain near 90% of the total variance, reflect a wintertime-like strengthened or weakened BSH centered over the western Arctic Ocean (EOF1), north-south dipole-like SLP anomalies (EOF2), and west-east dipole-like SLP anomalies (EOF3) respectively. The correlations are -0.83 between the PC time series of EOF1 (PC1) and the index of the Northern Annular Mode (NAM) in JJA, and -0.88 (0.57) between the PC 1 (PC2) of the EOF1 (EOF2) and the index of the North Pacific Oscillation (Pacific-North American) teleconnection pattern during Nov.-Mar., indicating that there are extensive controls of the BSH by the large-scale climate modes. Both PC2 associated with EOF2 in JJA and SO have exhibited a significant tendency toward high index polarity at the 10% level over the past few decades, are related to strongly reduced Arctic sea ice extent in summer and autumn. In the study period, we also detected significant anticyclonic trends of surface wind fields associated with a strengthened BSH during summer (JJA) and autumn (SO), and significant cyclonic trends of surface wind fields associated with a weakened BSH during early-middle winter (November to January). Such changes in atmospheric circulation from

  11. A year in the acoustic world of bowhead whales in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Christopher W.; Berchok, Catherine L.; Blackwell, Susanna B.; Hannay, David E.; Jones, Josh; Ponirakis, Dimitri; Stafford, Kathleen M.

    2015-08-01

    Bowhead whales, Balaena mysticetus, in the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort (BCB) population, experience a variable acoustic environment among the regions they inhabit throughout the year. A total of 41,698 h of acoustic data were recorded from 1 August 2009 through 4 October 2010 at 20 sites spread along a 2300 km transect from the Bering Sea to the southeast Beaufort Sea. These data represent the combined output from six research teams using four recorder types. Recorders sampled areas in which bowheads occur and in which there are natural and anthropogenic sources producing varying amounts of underwater noise. We describe and quantify the occurrence of bowheads throughout their range in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas over a 14-month period by aggregating our acoustic detections of bowhead whale sounds. We also describe the spatial-temporal variability in the bowhead acoustic environment using sound level measurements within a frequency band in which their sounds occur, by dividing a year into three, 4-month seasons (Summer-Fall 2009, August-November 2009: Winter 2009-2010, December 2009-March 2010: and Spring-Summer 2010, April-July 2010) and their home range into five zones. Statistical analyses revealed no significant relationship between acoustic occurrence, distance offshore, and water depth during Summer-Fall 2009, but there was a significant relationship during Spring-Summer 2010. A continuous period with elevated broadband sound levels lasting ca. 38 days occurred in the Bering Sea during the Winter 2009-2010 season as a result of singing bowheads, while a second period of elevated levels lasting at least 30 days occurred during the early spring-summer season as a result of singing bearded seals. The lowest noise levels occurred in the Chukchi Sea from the latter part of November into May. In late summer 2009 very faint sounds from a seismic airgun survey approximately 700 km away in the eastern Beaufort Sea were detected on Chukchi recorders. Throughout

  12. Arctic continental shelf morphology related to sea-ice zonation, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, E.; Toimil, L.; Barnes, P.

    1978-01-01

    Landsat-1 and NOAA satellite imagery for the winter 1972-1973, and a variety of ice and sea-floor data were used to study sea-ice zonation and dynamics and their relation to bottom morphology and geology on the Beaufort Sea continental shelf of arctic Alaska. In early winter the location of the boundary between undeformed fast ice and westward-drifting pack ice of the Pacific Gyre is controlled by major coastal promontories. Pronounced linear pressure- and shear-ridges, as well as hummock fields, form along this boundary and are stabilized by grounding, generally between the 10- and 20-m isobaths. Slippage along this boundary occurs intermittently at or seaward of the grounded ridges, forming new grounded ridges in a widening zone, the stamukhi zone, which by late winter extends out to the 40-m isobath. Between intermittent events along the stamukhi zone, pack-ice drift and slippage is continuous along the shelf edge, at average rates of 3-10 km/day. Whether slippage occurs along the stamukhi zone or along the shelf edge, it is restricted to a zone several hundred meters wide, and ice seaward of the slip face moves at uniform rates without discernible drag effects. A causal relationship is seen between the spatial distribution of major ice-ridge systems and offshore shoals downdrift of major coastal promontories. The shoals appear to have migrated shoreward under the influence of ice up to 400 m in the last 25 years. The sea floor seaward of these shoals within the stamukhi zone shows high ice-gouge density, large incision depths, and a high degree of disruption of internal sedimentary structures. The concentration of large ice ridges and our sea floor data in the stamukhi zone indicate that much of the available marine energy is expended here, while the inner shelf and coast, where the relatively undeformed fast ice grows, are sheltered. There is evidence that anomalies in the overall arctic shelf profile are related to sea-ice zonation, ice dynamics, and bottom

  13. Variation in winter diet of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears inferred from stable isotope analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bentzen, T.W.; Follmann, E.H.; Amstrup, Steven C.; York, G.S.; Wooller, M.J.; O'Hara, T. M.

    2007-01-01

    Ringed seals (Phoca hispida Schreber, 1775 = Pusa hispida (Schreber, 1775)) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus (Erxleben, 1777)) represent the majority of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) annual diet. However, remains of lower trophic level bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus L., 1758) are available in the southern Beaufort Sea and their dietary contribution to polar bears has been unknown. We used stable isotope (13C/12C, δ13C, 15N/14N, and δ15N) analysis to determine the diet composition of polar bears sampled along Alaska’s Beaufort Sea coast in March and April 2003 and 2004. The mean δ15N values of polar bear blood cells were 19.5‰ (SD = 0.7‰) in 2003 and 19.9‰ (SD = 0.7‰) in 2004. Mixing models indicated bowhead whales composed 11%–26% (95% CI) of the diets of sampled polar bears in 2003, and 0%–14% (95% CI) in 2004. This suggests significant variability in the proportion of lower trophic level prey in polar bear diets among individuals and between years. Polar bears depend on sea ice for hunting seals, and the temporal and spatial availabilities of sea ice are projected to decline. Consumption of low trophic level foods documented here suggests bears may increasingly scavenge such foods in the future.

  14. Phytoplankton in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas: Distributions, Dynamics and Environmental Forcing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Jian; Cota, Glenn F.; Comiso, Josefino C.

    2005-01-01

    Time-series of remotely sensed distributions of phytoplankton, sea ice, surface temperature, albedo, and clouds were examined to evaluate the impact of the variability of environmental conditions and physical forcing on the phytoplankton distribution in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Large-scale distributions of these parameters were studied for the first time using weekly and monthly composites from April 1998 through September 2002. The basic data set used in this study are phytoplankton pigment concentration derived from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS), ice concentration obtained from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and surface temperature, cloud cover, and albedo derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR). Seasonal variations of the sea ice cover was observed to be the dominant environmental factor as the ice edge blooms followed the retreating marginal ice zones northward. Blooms were most prominent in the southwestern Chukchi Sea, and were especially persistent immediately north of the Bering Strait in nutrient- rich Anadyr water and in some fronts. Chlorophyll concentrations are shown to increase from a nominal value during onset of melt in April to a maximum value in mid-spring or summer depending on location. Large interannual variability of ice cover and phytoplankton distributions was observed with the year 1998 being uniquely associated with an early season occurrence of a massive bloom. This is postulated to be caused in part by a rapid response of phytoplankton to an early retreat of the sea ice cover in the Beaufort Sea region. Correlation analyses showed relatively high negative correlation between chlorophyll and ice concentration with the correlation being highest in May, the correlation coefficient being -0.45. 1998 was also the warmest among the five years globally and the sea ice cover was least extensive in the Beaufort-Khukchi Sea region, partly because of the 1997-98 El Nino. Strong

  15. Seasonal variation of upwelling in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea: Impact of sea ice cover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze, Lena M.; Pickart, Robert S.

    2012-06-01

    Data from a mooring array deployed from August 2002 to September 2004 are used to characterize differences in upwelling near the shelf break in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea due to varying sea ice conditions. The record is divided into three ice seasons: open water, partial ice, and full ice. The basic response is the same in each of the seasons. Roughly 8 h after the onset of easterly winds the shelf break jet reverses, followed approximately 10 h later by upwelling of saltier water which is cold near the shelf break (Pacific Winter Water) and warm at depth (Atlantic Water). The secondary circulation at the outer shelf is, to first order, consistent with a two-dimensional Ekman balance of offshore flow in the upper layer and onshore flow at depth. There are, however, important seasonal differences in the upwelling. Overall the response is strongest in the partial ice season and weakest in the full ice season. It is believed that these differences are dictated by the degree to which wind stress is transmitted through the pack-ice, as the strength of the wind-forcing was comparable over the three seasons. An EOF-based upwelling index is constructed using information about the primary flow, secondary flow, and hydrography. The ability to predict upwelling using the wind record alone is explored, which demonstrates that 90% of easterly wind events exceeding 9.5 m s-1 drive significant upwelling. During certain periods the ice cover on the shelf became landfast, which altered the upwelling and circulation patterns near the shelf break.

  16. Discriminating between natural and anthropogenic features of the sedimentary record in the coastal Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trefry, J. H.; Trocine, R. P.; Fox, A. L.; Fox, S. L.; Durell, G.; Kasper, J.

    2016-02-01

    The coastal Beaufort Sea is at a crossroads with respect to the impacts of human activities. Accurate discrimination of regional and global anthropogenic impacts, versus those due to natural physical and biogeochemical processes, is an important tool for managing environmental issues in the Arctic. We have investigated several natural and anthropogenic features in age-dated sediment cores from the coastal Beaufort Sea. For example, Hg enrichment (by 20 to >50% or +20 to 40 ng/g) was identified in some surface sediments using Hg/Al ratios in cores from nearshore, outer shelf and slope environments. Nearshore Hg anomalies, although quite limited in number, have been linked to drilling fluids deposited during oil and gas exploration in the 1980s. In contrast, similar offshore Hg anomalies are likely due to natural sediment diagenesis as previously noted by others in the deeper Arctic Ocean. We also found Ba enrichment in surface sediments that can be best explained by the deposition of natural, Ba-rich suspended particles from the Colville River; yet, Ba enrichment can sometimes be explained by the presence of drilling fluids in sediments near historic drilling sites. Human induced diagenetic changes are likely to follow current increases in river runoff and coastal erosion. Higher deposition rates for sediment and organic carbon in the coastal Beaufort Sea may create future anomalies for As, Cd and other metals. For example, metal anomalies can presently be found in older subsurface sediments where a layer of carbon-rich sediment was previously deposited. Correct identification of natural versus anthropogenic forcing factors that lead to distinct diagenetic features in the sedimentary record will help us to identify problem areas and make informed regulatory decisions.

  17. Apparent optical properties of the Canadian Beaufort Sea - Part 1: Observational overview and water column relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoine, D.; Hooker, S. B.; Bélanger, S.; Matsuoka, A.; Babin, M.

    2013-07-01

    A data set of radiometric measurements collected in the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic) in August 2009 (Malina project) is analyzed in order to describe apparent optical properties (AOPs) in this sea, which has been subject to dramatic environmental changes for several decades. The two properties derived from the measurements are the spectral diffuse attenuation coefficient for downward irradiance, Kd, and the spectral remote sensing reflectance, Rrs. The former controls light propagation in the upper water column. The latter determines how light is backscattered out of the water and becomes eventually observable from a satellite ocean color sensor. The data set includes offshore clear waters of the Beaufort Basin as well as highly turbid waters of the Mackenzie River plumes. In the clear waters, we show Kd values that are much larger in the ultraviolet and blue parts of the spectrum than what could be anticipated considering the chlorophyll concentration. A larger contribution of absorption by colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is responsible for these high Kd values, as compared to other oligotrophic areas. In turbid waters, attenuation reaches extremely high values, driven by high loads of particulate materials and also by a large CDOM content. In these two extreme types of waters, current satellite chlorophyll algorithms fail. This questions the role of ocean color remote sensing in the Arctic when Rrs from only the blue and green bands are used. Therefore, other parts of the spectrum (e.g., the red) should be explored if one aims at quantifying interannual changes in chlorophyll in the Arctic from space. The very peculiar AOPs in the Beaufort Sea also advocate for developing specific light propagation models when attempting to predict light availability for photosynthesis at depth.

  18. Apparent optical properties of the Canadian Beaufort Sea - Part 1: Observational overview and water column relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoine, D.; Hooker, S. B.; Belanger, S.; Matsuoka, A.; Babin, M.

    2013-03-01

    A data set of radiometric measurements collected in the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic) in August 2009 (MALINA project) is analysed in order to describe apparent optical properties (AOPs) in this sea, which is subject to dramatic environmental changes for several decades. The two properties derived from the measurements are the spectral diffuse attenuation coefficient for downward irradiance, Kd, and the spectral remote sensing reflectance, Rrs. The former controls light propagation in the upper water column. The latter determines how light is backscattered out of the water and becomes eventually observable from a satellite ocean colour sensor. The data set includes offshore clear waters of the Beaufort basin as well as highly turbid waters of the Mackenzie River plumes. In the clear waters, we show Kd values that are much larger in the ultraviolet and blue parts of the spectrum than what could be anticipated considering the chlorophyll concentration. A larger contribution of absorption by coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM) is responsible for this high Kd values, as compared to other oligotrophic areas. In turbid waters, attenuation reaches extremely high values, driven by high loads of particulate materials and also by a large CDOM content. In these two extreme types of waters, current satellite chlorophyll algorithms fail. This is questioning the role of ocean colour remote sensing in the Arctic when Rrs from only the blue and green bands are used. Therefore, other parts of the spectrum (e.g. the red) should be explored if one aims at quantifying interannual changes in chlorophyll in the Arctic from space. The very peculiar AOPs in the Beaufort Sea also advocate for developing specific light propagation models when attempting to predict light availability for photosynthesis at depth.

  19. Structure of Infaunal Communities on the Beaufort Sea Shelf and Slope: Insights from Morphological and Environmental DNA Sequencing Approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardy, S. M.; Bik, H.; Walker, A.; Sharma, J.; Blanchard, A.

    2016-02-01

    Rapid change is occurring in the Arctic concurrently with increased human activity, yet our knowledge of the structure and function of high-Arctic sediment communities is still rudimentary. The Beaufort Sea is particularly poorly sampled, and largely unexplored at slope depths, providing little information with which to assess the impacts of petroleum exploration activities now beginning in this area. We are investigating diversity and community structure of meio- and macrobenthic infauna on the continental shelf and slope of the Beaufort Sea across a range of depths (50 to 1000 m) using traditional taxonomic and environmental DNA sequencing approaches, and comparing results to additional sites in the adjacent NE Chukchi Sea petroleum lease-sale area. The Beaufort slope is topographically complex and characterized by an east-west gradient in benthic habitat characteristics, with heavy input of terrestrial organic matter particularly in the region of the Mackenzie River delta. Warmer, saltier subsurface Atlantic water masses impact benthic communities at mid-slope depths, likely influencing turnover in community structure observed with depth. Food resources are variable across the region, with very high sediment chlorophyll concentrations at 350 m depth in some areas. Differences in nematode assemblages were detected across the Beaufort Sea shelf/slope, across depths within the Beaufort Sea, and between the Beaufort and adjacent NE Chukchi Sea. These differences were apparent in both morphological and environmental sequencing data. Macrofaunal communities showed variable community structure among transects, with high abundance and high dominance in polychaete assemblages coincident with the chlorophyll maximum. Sequencing data also revealed an abundance of protists in sediments which have been mostly ignored in studies of ecosystem dynamics in this region, and may represent an important component of the food web.

  20. Consistency of Bottom Fish Communities in the Beaufort Sea Within and Between Years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norcross, B.; Holladay, B.

    2016-02-01

    Fish communities in the Arctic may be indicators of change due to climate and oil and gas exploration. An initial benchmark is generally established by sampling a set of sites in multiple years sequentially to estimate interannual variability. Standard practice is to conduct one trawl haul per station. Establishing the annual frequency of sampling and minimum number of hauls per station necessary to detect changes in demersal fish communities is essential to designing a monitoring program. Using small bottom trawls, we assessed interannual variability of bottom fish communities between 2013 and 2014 in the eastern US Beaufort Sea at eight depths 20-1000 m on each of four transects. In 2014, to determine if one haul per station was representative of a site, replicate hauls were made at stations along one transect at the US-Canada border. The similarity among replicate hauls within a single year was excellent, indicating that one haul per station was representative of fish communities. There were distinctly different bottom fish communities on the Beaufort Sea shelf (20-100 m) and slope (200-1000 m). Shelf communities had higher abundances of smaller fishes; whereas slope communities had fewer, but larger, individuals. There was no change in fish abundance between years, but there was interannual variability in the biomass of fish communities on the slope. However, as few fishes were captured at deep stations, the difference between catching and not catching a single large heavy fish affected relative biomass significantly, which may distort the conclusion of interannual variability. Furthermore, these replicate hauls occurred in the eastern Beaufort Sea, which appears to have fewer fish species and in lower abundance than the western Beaufort Sea. The similarity within replicates may not be as striking in a more diverse environment, however this study shows that in this region of the Arctic, it is likely sufficient to forego replicate sampling at a station in one

  1. Observations of thermohaline sound speed structure in the Beaufort Sea in the summer of 2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, A.; Colosi, J. A.; DiMaggio, D.

    2016-02-01

    Observations of temperature and salinity were made by ship CTD casts and a mooring in the central Beaufort Sea between July 15 and August 15 2015, as part of the Canada Basin Acoustic Propagation Experiment (CANAPE) pilot study. This talk will present an analysis of the observed temperature, salinity, and sound speed structure in terms of the fresh upper layer, the Pacific layers, the Arctic halocline, and the Atlantic layer. The talk will focus on identifying the spatial and temporal variability of the thermohaline and sound speed structures associated with eddies, internal waves, and diffusive layering (stair cases).

  2. A new genus and species of Thyasiridae (Mollusca, Bivalvia) from deep-water, Beaufort Sea, northern Alaska.

    PubMed

    Valentich-Scott, Paul; Powell, Charles L; Ii; Lorenson, Thomas D; Edwards, Brian E

    2014-01-01

    Bivalve mollusk shells were collected in 2350 m depth in the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean off northern Alaska. Initial identification suggested the specimens were a member of the bivalve family Thyasiridae, but no known eastern Pacific or Arctic living or fossil thyasirid resembled these deep-water specimens. Comparisons were made with the type of the genera Maorithyas Fleming, 1950, Spinaxinus Oliver & Holmes, 2006, Axinus Sowerby, 1821, and Parathyasira Iredale, 1930. We determined the Beaufort Sea species represents a new genus, herein described as Wallerconcha. These specimens also represent a new species, herein named Wallerconchasarae. These new taxa are compared with known modern and fossil genera and species of thyasirds.

  3. Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES) - An Integrated Approach to the Dynamics of the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiese, F. K.; Gryba, R.; Kelly, B. P.

    2016-02-01

    MARES is an integrated ecosystem research initiative coordinated and planned by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Office of Naval Research, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Shell through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. The overarching goal is to advance our knowledge of the structure and function of the Beaufort Sea marine ecosystem so as to link atmospheric and oceanic drivers to sea ice patterns and marine mammal distribution and availability to local subsistence communities. The study, funded in 2014, focuses on the marine ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea shelf from Barrow, Alaska to the Mackenzie River delta in Canada and is scheduled to include bio-physical moorings along the US-Canadian border, glider deployments packed with bio-physical sensors, tagging of whales and ice-associated seals with satellite CTD-Fluorometer tags, biophysical and chemical cruises including the measurement and characterization of hydrography, ice, nutrients, primary and secondary production, carbon budgets, benthic fauna, fish, as well as analysis of freshwater input and chemical loadings, and ecosystem modeling. This presentation will focus on preliminary results from the ice seal tagging that started in the summer of 2015 and describe some of the planning and possibilities for partnerships for the more comprehensive 2016 field season and beyond.

  4. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    Scientists on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Beaufort Sea, northeast of Barrow, Alaska, finished collecting the mission¹s sea ice data and cruised south on July 20, 2011, through thin ice and ultimately into the open ocean. The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is a NASA shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research took place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  5. Beaufort Sea Coastal Fish Studies Overview and Bibliography

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-06-01

    BiologicalJournaloftheLinnean Society, 38(3): gonins. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 5(1): 59-66. 281-301. Rogers, D.E. (1972) Wood River sockeye salmon stud- Skulason, S...formes locales de ]a truite Salvelius alpinus, of the Wood River Lakes, Bristol Bay , rouge du Quebec (Salvelinus marstoni). Nature Canada, Alaska...of the Alaskan Beauf rt development of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields continues to Sea is dominated by the Mackenzie River, to th.e east of have potential

  6. Implications of Ocean Swell Fracturing of Perennial Pack Ice in the Southern Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asplin, M. G.; Wang, R.; Galley, R. J.; Barber, D. G.; Prinsenberg, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    The Arctic summer minimum sea ice extent has been in decline for the past 30 years, with an extreme minimum extent of 4.2x106 sq/km in 2007. The greatest declines are observed in the Siberian, Laptev, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas, and the resulting large, contiguous expanse of open water represents the emergence of large wave-generation fetch distances in the Arctic Basin. Increases in the amplitude, and wavelength of storm swells coupled with decreasing ice thickness and extent may result in waves reaching the thick multi-year (MY) ice that builds against the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Long waves can propagate under sea ice, deep into the pack, thereby causing flexural swell and failure within the sea ice cover. This process shifts the distribution of ice floes towards smaller diameters, increases ice floe surface area and ice floe mobility, and thereby affects sea ice dynamics and thermodynamic processes. This study presents a modelling study to investigate the thermodynamic and dynamic implications of flexural fracturing of perennial pack ice. Lateral melt rates are assessed by estimating the change in energy entrainment from longwave and solar radiation in the mixed-layer of the ocean, as well as from ocean heat fluxes. The impact of this process in future sea ice melt seasons is assessed by estimating the impacts of this process occurring earlier in the melt season. We then discuss the implications for sea ice dynamic processes during sea ice formation in the autumn / winter seasons.

  7. Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) vocalizations and call classification from the eastern Beaufort Sea population.

    PubMed

    Garland, Ellen C; Castellote, Manuel; Berchok, Catherine L

    2015-06-01

    Beluga whales, Delphinapterus leucas, have a graded call system; call types exist on a continuum making classification challenging. A description of vocalizations from the eastern Beaufort Sea beluga population during its spring migration are presented here, using both a non-parametric classification tree analysis (CART), and a Random Forest analysis. Twelve frequency and duration measurements were made on 1019 calls recorded over 14 days off Icy Cape, Alaska, resulting in 34 identifiable call types with 83% agreement in classification for both CART and Random Forest analyses. This high level of agreement in classification, with an initial subjective classification of calls into 36 categories, demonstrates that the methods applied here provide a quantitative analysis of a graded call dataset. Further, as calls cannot be attributed to individuals using single sensor passive acoustic monitoring efforts, these methods provide a comprehensive analysis of data where the influence of pseudo-replication of calls from individuals is unknown. This study is the first to describe the vocal repertoire of a beluga population using a robust and repeatable methodology. A baseline eastern Beaufort Sea beluga population repertoire is presented here, against which the call repertoire of other seasonally sympatric Alaskan beluga populations can be compared.

  8. Ice gouge obliteration and sediment redistribution event: 1977-1978, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, Peter W.; Reimnitz, Erk

    1979-01-01

    In 1978 major changes in shelf morphology were observed during a routine re-survey of part of the inner shelf region of the central Beaufort Sea. Regional observations are coupled with a detailed diving and side-scan study of a single ice gouge of known age to develop a detailed description of the altered seabed conditions. Hydrodynamic activity has caused extensive sediment reworking, obliterating ice gouges to water depths of at least 13 m and has caused ponding of sediment in ice gouge terrain in deeper waters. Ponded sediment is characterized as a soft, sometimes very poorly consolidated, mud unit underlain by a stiffer, more consolidated, silty clay. In places, stiff silty clay is exposed in windows in the sediment pond and displays a fine-textured ice gouge morphology. Rates of sediment reworking and redisposition from apparently episodic events are an order of magnitude greater than the average sediment accumulation rates on the Beaufort Sea shelf. Reported maximum ice gouge incision depths are not representative of maximum ice keel penetrations into the seabed because these sedimentation events preferentially infill gouges. Furthermore, because these sedimentation events concentrate sediments in gouge troughs, a series of overlapping and interfingering 'shoestring' deposits is developed which should characterize the ice gouge stratigraphy. The specific hydraulic mechanisms for sediment redistribution and sediment compaction observed in this study are only poorly understood.

  9. Organohalogen concentrations in blood and adipose tissue of Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bentzen, T.W.; Muir, D.C.G.; Amstrup, Steven C.; O'Hara, T. M.

    2008-01-01

    We analyzed 151 organohalogen chemicals (OHCs) in whole blood and subcutaneous fat of 57 polar bears sampled along the Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast in spring, 2003. All major organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, PBDEs and their congeners were assessed. Concentrations of most OHCs continue to be lower among Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears than reported for other populations. Additionally, toxaphenes and related compounds were assessed in adipose tissue, and 8 perflourinated compounds (PFCs) were examined in blood. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) concentrations exceeded those of any other contaminant measured in blood. ??Chlordane concentrations were higher in females, and both ??PCBs and ??Chlordane concentrations in adipose tissue decreased significantly with age. The rank order of OHC mean concentrations; ??PCB > ??10PCB > PCB153 > ??Chlordane > Oxychlordane > PCB180 > ??HCH > ??-HCH > ??DDT > p,p-DDE > ??PBDE > HCB > Toxaphene was similar for compounds above detection limits in both fat and blood. Although correlation between OHC concentrations in blood and adipose tissue was examined, the predictability of concentrations in one matrix for the other was limited. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  10. Dynamics and morphology of Beaufort Sea ice determined from satellites, aircraft, and drifting stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, W. J.; Gloersen, P.; Nordberg, W.; Wilheit, T. T.

    1973-01-01

    A series of measurements from drifting stations, aircraft, the ERTS-1, Nimbus 4, and Nimbus 5 satellites have jointly provided a new description of the dynamics and morphology of the ice cover of the Beaufort Sea. The combined analysis of these data show that the eastern Beaufort Sea ice cover is made up of large multiyear floes while the western part is made of small, predominantly first-year floes. The analysis suggests that this distribution might be quasi-steady and that the dynamics and thermodynamics of the region are more complex than hitherto known. The measurements consist of: (1) high resolution ERTS-1 imagery which is used to describe floe size and shape distribution, short term floe dynamics, and lead and polynya dynamics; (2) tracking by Nimbus 4 of IRLS drifting buoys to provide ice drift information which enhances the interpretation of the ERTS-1 imagery; (3) Nimbus 5 microwave (1.55 cm wavelength) imagery which provides synoptic, sequential maps on the distribution of multiyear and first-year ice types; (4) airborne microwave surveys and surface based observations made during 1971 and 1972 in conjunction with the AIDJEX (Arctic Ice Dynamics Joint Experiment) program.

  11. Behavior, disturbance responses, and distribution of bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus in the eastern Beaufort Sea. 1980-84. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, W.J.

    1985-06-01

    The reactions of bowhead whales to industrial activities were studied during five summers in the report. The objective was to provide data needed to assess the possible effects of offshore oil exploration and development in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea on this endangered species.

  12. 76 FR 79764 - Use of Foreign-Flag Anchor Handling Vessels in the Beaufort Sea or Chukchi Sea Adjacent to Alaska

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-22

    ... Maritime Administration Use of Foreign-Flag Anchor Handling Vessels in the Beaufort Sea or Chukchi Sea...-flag anchor handling vessels in certain cases (and for a limited period of time) if no U.S.-flag... anchor handling vessels with a minimum ice class A3 has been received by the Maritime Administration. If...

  13. The nearshore western Beaufort Sea ecosystem: Circulation and importance of terrestrial carbon in arctic coastal food webs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunton, Kenneth H.; Weingartner, Thomas; Carmack, Eddy C.

    2006-10-01

    The nearshore shelf of the Beaufort Sea is defined by extreme physical and biological gradients that have a distinctive influence on its productivity and trophic structure. Massive freshwater discharge from the Mackenzie River, along with numerous smaller rivers and streams elsewhere along the coast, produce an environment that is decidedly estuarine in character, especially in late spring and summer. Consequently, the Beaufort coast provides a critical habitat for several species of amphidromous fishes, some of which are essential to the subsistence lifestyle of arctic native populations. Because of its low in situ productivity, allochthonous inputs of organic carbon, identifiable on the basis of isotopic composition, are important to the functioning of this arctic estuarine system. Coastal erosion and river discharge are largely responsible for introducing high concentrations of suspended sediment from upland regions into the nearshore zone. The depletion in the 13C content of invertebrate and vertebrate consumers, which drops about 4-5‰ eastward along the eastern Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast, may reflect the assimilation of this terrestrial organic matter into local food webs. In addition, the large range in 13C values of fauna collected in the eastern Beaufort (nearly 8‰) compared to the same species in the northeastern Chukchi (3‰), indicate a lower efficiency of carbon transfer between trophic levels in the eastern Beaufort. The wider spread in stable isotope values in the eastern Beaufort may also reflect a decoupling between benthic and pelagic components. Isotopic tracer studies of amphidromous fishes in the Simpson Island barrier island lagoon revealed that terrestrial (peat) carbon may contribute as much as 30-50% of their total dietary requirements. On the eastern Alaska Beaufort Sea coast, the δ13C values of arctic cod collected in semi-enclosed lagoons were more depleted, by 3-4‰, compared to fish collected in the coastal Beaufort Sea

  14. Pacific and Atlantic water influence on the Beaufort Sea slope tracked by epifaunal invertebrate biogeography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bluhm, B.

    2016-02-01

    As an interior Arctic sea with a narrow shelf and a steep slope, the US Beaufort Sea is influenced by complex vertical and horizontal domains of water masses and current regimes. The benthic invertebrates inhabiting that area form communities that reflect the long-term (year to decadal) environmental conditions and waters mass source. During six expeditions over five years, we deployed plumb-staff beam trawls to collect epifauna invertebrates at >150 locations spanning the shelf and slope to 1000 m and across the primary water masses of the region (as defined by T/S). The >250 species sampled in this effort are dominated in species richness by crustaceans and gastropods, and in abundance and biomass by echinoderms and crustaceans, with proportional variations across water depths. We find strong turnover in species and/or community composition with water depth, and moderate shifts along the west-east axis. Depth-related species/community shifts are gradual, but most pronounced around the 20 m isobaths, at the shelf break (between 100 and 200 m) and between 350 and 500 m. Inshore of 20 m, the dynamic environment (ice gouging, variable salinity) results in a species-poor community. At locations deeper than 350 m, communities increasingly include species common in the Atlantic-influenced Arctic and Atlantic-boreal regions, roughly matching the transition from Pacific-origin to Atlantic-origin waters. We conclude that benthic community distribution can delineate boundaries in hydrographic conditions that are characteristic of different water mass types that reside on the shelf and slope of the Beaufort Sea.

  15. Organic geochemical signatures controlling methane outgassing at active mud volcanoes in the Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DongHun, Lee; YoungKeun, Jin; JungHyun, Kim; Heldge, Niemann; JongKu, Gal; BoHyung, Choi

    2016-04-01

    Based on the water column acoustic anomalies related to active methane (CH4) venting, numerous active Mud Volcanoes (MVs) were recently identified at ~282, ~420, and ~740 m water depths on the continental slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea (Paull et al., 2015). While geophysical aspects such as the multibeam bathymetric mapping are thoroughly investigated, biogeochemical processes controlling outgassing CH4 at the active MVs are not well constrained. Here, we investigated three sediment cores from the active MVs and one sediment core from a non-methane influenced reference site recovered during the ARA-05C expedition with the R/V ARAON in 2014. We analyzed lipid biomarkers and their stable carbon isotopic values (δ13C) in order to determine key biogeochemical processes involved in CH4 cycling in the MV sediments. Downcore CH4 and sulphate (SO42-) concentration measurements revealed a distinct sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) at the shallow sections of the cores (15 - 45 cm below seafloor (cm bsf) at 282 m MV, 420 m MV, and 740 m MV). The most abundant diagnostic lipid biomarkers in the SMTZ were sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol (-94‰) and archaeol (-66‰) with the sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol: archaeol ratio of 1.1 to 5, indicating the presence of ANME-2 or -3. However, we also found substantial amounts of monocyclic biphytane-1 (BP-1, -118‰), which is rather indicative for ANME-1. Nevertheless, the concentration of sn-2-hydroxyarchaeol was 2-fold higher than any other archaeal lipids, suggesting a predominant ANME-2 or -3 rather than ANME-1 as a driving force for the anaerobic methane oxidation (AOM) in these systems. We will further investigate the microbial community at the active MVs using nucleic acid (RNA and DNA) sequence analyses in near future. Our study provides first biogeochemical data set of the active MVs in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, which helps to better understand CH4 cycling mediated in these systems. Reference Paull, C.K., et al. (2015), Active mud

  16. Arctic underwater noise transients from sea ice deformation: Characteristics, annual time series, and forcing in Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Kinda, G Bazile; Simard, Yvan; Gervaise, Cédric; Mars, Jérôme I; Fortier, Louis

    2015-10-01

    A 13-month time series of Arctic Ocean noise from the marginal ice zone of the Eastern Beaufort Sea is analyzed to detect under-ice acoustic transients isolated from ambient noise with a dedicated algorithm. Noise transients due to ice cracking, fracturing, shearing, and ridging are sorted out into three categories: broadband impulses, frequency modulated (FM) tones, and high-frequency broadband noise. Their temporal and acoustic characteristics over the 8-month ice covered period, from November 2005 to mid-June 2006, are presented and their generation mechanisms are discussed. Correlations analyses showed that the occurrence of these ice transients responded to large-scale ice motion and deformation rates forced by meteorological events, often leading to opening of large-scale leads at main discontinuities in the ice cover. Such a sequence, resulting in the opening of a large lead, hundreds by tens of kilometers in size, along the margin of landfast ice and multiyear ice plume in the Beaufort-Chukchi seas is detailed. These ice transients largely contribute to the soundscape properties of the Arctic Ocean, for both its ambient and total noise components. Some FM tonal transients can be confounded with marine mammal songs, especially when they are repeated, with periods similar to wind generated waves.

  17. Bowhead whale behavior in relation to seismic exploration, Alaskan Beaufort Sea, Autumn 1981. Study report (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Fraker, M.A.; Ljungblad, D.K.; Richardson, W.J.; Van Schoik, D.R.

    1985-10-01

    Behavior of bowhead whales (Balsena mysticetus) in the eastern part of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea or near the Alaska/Yukon border was observed from a circling turbine-powered Goose aircraft on 10 dates from 12 September to 5 October 1981. On three of these dates, the whales were exposed t, noise impulses from seismic vessels 13 km or more away. Some behavioral data were acquired. In both the presence and the absence of seismic impulses, most bowheads appeared to be feeding in the water column, although slow travel and active socializing were sometimes detected. Sonobuoys detected bowhead calls both in the presence and the absence of seismic impulses. There was no clear evidence of unusual behavior in the presence of seismic impulses.

  18. Active mud volcanoes on the continental slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S. R.; Caress, D. W.; Gwiazda, R.; Melling, H.; Riedel, M.; Jin, Y. K.; Hong, J. K.; Kim, Y.-G.; Graves, D.; Sherman, A.; Lundsten, E.; Anderson, K.; Lundsten, L.; Villinger, H.; Kopf, A.; Johnson, S. B.; Hughes Clarke, J.; Blasco, S.; Conway, K.; Neelands, P.; Thomas, H.; Côté, M.

    2015-09-01

    Morphologic features, 600-1100 m across and elevated up to 30 m above the surrounding seafloor, interpreted to be mud volcanoes were investigated on the continental slope in the Beaufort Sea in the Canadian Arctic. Sediment cores, detailed mapping with an autonomous underwater vehicle, and exploration with a remotely operated vehicle show that these are young and actively forming features experiencing ongoing eruptions. Biogenic methane and low-chloride, sodium-bicarbonate-rich waters are extruded with warm sediment that accumulates to form cones and low-relief circular plateaus. The chemical and isotopic compositions of the ascending water indicate that a mixture of meteoric water, seawater, and water from clay dehydration has played a significant role in the evolution of these fluids. The venting methane supports extensive siboglinid tubeworms communities and forms some gas hydrates within the near seafloor. We believe that these are the first documented living chemosynthetic biological communities in the continental slope of the western Arctic Ocean.

  19. Long-Term Movement of Satellite-Tracked Buoys in the Beaufort Sea.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-06-01

    REPORT 6. Pffor,,,qOrgen,e.en Code 8. Per/orm0nq Orgern0=° , 0o s Reo.r N. 7 . A tire s) D.L. MURPHY, P.A. TEBEAU, and I.M. LISSAUER CGR&DC 12/81 9 ...Cy NC 0,- X - 0--ece 0 o ~z w m > C Dh. > U) z, CL NII CD E E C Z2 0C ii Ca 0 C V c 0 1 E 06 .C- z 5 0 lea a O z B S& LL L C. CL zL L OL 9 a. 1 C(AII z...Small Buoy Hull Used in this Study 5 4 Release Site in the Southeastern Beaufort Sea 7 5 Tracks of Buoys Released on 9 August 1979 8 6 Tracks of Buoys

  20. Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea: A 30-year mark-recapture case history

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amstrup, Steven C.; McDonald, T.L.; Stirling, I.

    2001-01-01

    Knowledge of population size and trend is necessary to manage anthropogenic risks to polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Despite capturing over 1,025 females between 1967 and 1998, previously calculated estimates of the size of the southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) population have been unreliable. We improved estimates of numbers of polar bears by modeling heterogeneity in capture probability with covariates. Important covariates referred to the year of the study, age of the bear, capture effort, and geographic location. Our choice of best approximating model was based on the inverse relationship between variance in parameter estimates and likelihood of the fit and suggested a growth from ≈ 500 to over 1,000 females during this study. The mean coefficient of variation on estimates for the last decade of the study was 0.16—the smallest yet derived. A similar model selection approach is recommended for other projects where a best model is not identified by likelihood criteria alone.

  1. Impact of data assimilation on Chukchi/Beaufort Seas mesoscale modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, F.; Krieger, J.; Zhang, J.

    2010-12-01

    Offshore development in the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas requires an improved understanding of the surface wind field, a crucial parameter for assessing and predicting dispersal and movement of oil spills. A study has thus been established to investigate the mesoscale features of the surface wind field throughout this region. In this study, we focus on investigating the impact of data assimilation on the simulation of the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas mesoscale surface wind field with the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) and its variational data assimilation system (WRF-Var). In the application of WRF-Var, model background error (BE) is a key element required for the assimilation procedure. We have conducted an investigation into how varying the model background error affects the results of assimilating in-situ surface observations. The background error covariances we tested include CV3 (a built-in global BE file in WRF-Var) and several domain-dependent CV5 BE files. The latter were calculated using 12-hourly forecast results and 24-hourly forecast over 2-month and 1-year periods, followed by the calculation of separate BE at 00, 06, 12, and 18 UTC, in order to capture the diurnal variation of the model background error. The results show that the customized domain-dependent BE produces much better assimilation results than the global CV3 BE, and the CV5 BE calculated over a 1-year period additionally helps to improve the assimilation. When the diurnal variation of background error was included in the CV5 BE, a further improvement was achieved.

  2. Stock origins of Dolly Varden collected from Beaufort Sea coastal sites of Arctic Alaska and Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krueger, C.C.; Wilmot, R.L.; Everett, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Anadromous northern Dolly Varden Salvelinus malma support a summer subsistence fishery in Beaufort Sea coastal waters. These same waters coincide with areas of oil and gas exploration and development. The purpose of this study was to assess variation in stock origins of Dolly Varden collected from sites along 400 km of Beaufort Sea coast. Mixed-stock analyses (MSA) of allozyme data were used to compare collections from four sites (Endicolt near Prudhoe Bay, Mikkelsen Bay, and Kaktovik in Alaska and Phillips Bay in Canada) and to assess variation in stock contributions among summer months and between 1987 and 1988. The MSA estimates for individual stocks were summed into estimates for three stock groups: western stocks from the area near Sagavarnirktok River and Prudhoe Bay (SAG), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge stocks (Arctic Refuge), and Canadian stocks. The MSA of Endicott samples taken in 1987 and 1988 did not differ among months in terms of contributions from local SAG stocks (range, 71-95%). Contributions from nonlocal (>100 km distant) Canadian and Arctic Refuge stocks were not different from zero in 1987, but contributions from Canadian stocks were so in July (17%) and August (20%) but not in September of 1988. Thus, stock contributions to Endicott collections were different between 1987 and 1988. Samples from the Kaktovik area in 1988 were different between months in terms of contributions from nonlocal SAG stocks (July, 7%; August, 27%). Significant contributions to these samples were made both months by Canadian (25% and 17%) and local Arctic Refuge stocks (68% and 56%). Among the four coastal sites, local stocks typically contributed most to collections; however, every site had collections that contained significant contributions from nonlocal stocks. The MSA estimates clearly revealed the movement of Dolly Varden between U.S. and Canada coastal waters. If local stocks are affected by oil and gas development activities, distant subsistence fisheries

  3. Linking mercury exposure to habitat and feeding behaviour in Beaufort Sea beluga whales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loseto, L. L.; Stern, G. A.; Deibel, D.; Connelly, T. L.; Prokopowicz, A.; Lean, D. R. S.; Fortier, L.; Ferguson, S. H.

    2008-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) levels in the Beaufort Sea beluga population have been increasing since the 1990's. Ultimately, it is the Hg content of prey that determines beluga Hg levels. However, the Beaufort Sea beluga diet is not understood, and little is known about the diet Hg sources in their summer habitat. During the summer, they segregate into social groups based on habitat use leading to the hypothesis that they may feed in different food webs explaining Hg dietary sources. Methyl mercury (MeHg) and total mercury (THg) levels were measured in the estuarine-shelf, Amundsen Gulf and epibenthic food webs in the western Canadian Arctic collected during the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES) to assess their dietary Hg contribution. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report MeHg levels in estuarine fish and epibenthic invertebrates from the Arctic Ocean. Although the Mackenzie River is a large source of Hg, the estuarine-shelf prey items had the lowest MeHg levels, ranging from 0.1 to 0.27 μg/g dry weight (dw) in arctic cisco ( Coregonus autumnalis) and saffron cod ( Eleginus gracilis) respectively. Highest MeHg levels occurred in fourhorn sculpin ( Myoxocephalus quadricornis) (0.5 μg/g dw) from the epibenthic food web. Beluga hypothesized to feed in the epibenthic and Amundsen Gulf food webs had the highest Hg levels matching with high Hg levels in associated food webs, and estuarine-shelf belugas had the lowest Hg levels (2.6 μg/g dw), corresponding with the low food web Hg levels, supporting the variation in dietary Hg uptake. The trophic level transfer of Hg was similar among the food webs, highlighting the importance of Hg sources at the bottom of the food web as well as food web length. We propose that future biomagnification studies incorporate predator behaviour with food web structure to assist in the evaluation of dietary Hg sources.

  4. Age and sex composition of seals killed by polar bears in the eastern Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Pilfold, Nicholas W; Derocher, Andrew E; Stirling, Ian; Richardson, Evan; Andriashek, Dennis

    2012-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the Beaufort Sea enter hyperphagia in spring and gain fat reserves to survive periods of low prey availability. We collected information on seals killed by polar bears (n=650) and hunting attempts on ringed seal (Pusa hispida) lairs (n=1396) observed from a helicopter during polar bear mark-recapture studies in the eastern Beaufort Sea in spring in 1985-2011. We investigated how temporal shifts in ringed seal reproduction affect kill composition and the intraspecific vulnerabilities of ringed seals to polar bear predation. Polar bears primarily preyed on ringed seals (90.2%) while bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) only comprised 9.8% of the kills, but 33% of the biomass. Adults comprised 43.6% (150/344) of the ringed seals killed, while their pups comprised 38.4% (132/344). Juvenile ringed seals were killed at the lowest proportion, comprising 18.0% (62/344) of the ringed seal kills. The proportion of ringed seal pups was highest between 2007-2011, in association with high ringed seal productivity. Half of the adult ringed seal kills were ≥ 21 years (60/121), and kill rates of adults increased following the peak of parturition. Determination of sex from DNA revealed that polar bears killed adult male and adult female ringed seals equally (0.50, n=78). The number of hunting attempts at ringed seal subnivean lair sites was positively correlated with the number of pup kills (r(2) =0.30, P=0.04), but was not correlated with the number of adult kills (P=0.37). Results are consistent with decadal trends in ringed seal productivity, with low numbers of pups killed by polar bears in spring in years of low pup productivity, and conversely when pup productivity was high. Vulnerability of adult ringed seals to predation increased in relation to reproductive activities and age, but not gender.

  5. Monitoring hydrocarbons and trace metals in Beaufort Sea sediments and organisms. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Boehm, P.; LeBlanc, L.; Trefry, J.; Marajh-Whittemore, P.; Brown, J.

    1990-10-01

    As part of the Minerals Management Service's environmental studies of oil and gas exploration and production activities in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, a study was conducted in 1989 to monitor the marine environment for inputs of chemicals related to drilling and exploration. The 1989 Beaufort Sea Monitoring Program (BSMP) was designed to monitor sediments and selected benthic organisms for trace metals and hydrocarbons so as to infer any changes that might have resulted from drilling and production activities. A series of 49 stations were sampled during the program. The study area extended from Cape Halkett on the western end of Harrison Bay to Griffin Point, east of Barter Island. The sampling design combined an area-wide approach in which stations were treated as replicates of 8 specific geographic regions, with an activity-specific approach, which focused on the potential establishment of metal or hydrocarbon concentration gradients with distance from the Endicott Production Field in Prudhoe Bay. The analytical program focused on the analysis of the fine-fraction of the sediment for a series of trace metals and elements and the analysis of a suite of saturated and aromatic hydrocarbons in the bulk sediment. The total organic carbon (TOB) content and the grain size distribution in the sediments were determined as well. Benthic bivalve molluscs, representative of several feeding types were collected from those stations for which data previously existed from the 1984-1986 BSMP, and were analyzed for metals and saturated and aromatic hydrocarbons. The benthic amphipods were collected, pooled by station or region, and analyzed as well.

  6. Fall Freeze-up of Sea Ice in the Beaufort-Chukchi Seas Using ERS-1 SAR and Buoy Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, B.; Winebrenner, B.; D., Nelson E.

    1993-01-01

    The lowering of air temperatures below freezing in the fall indicates the end of summer melt and the onset of steady sea ice growth. The thickness and condition of ice that remains at the end of summer has ramifications for the thickness that that ice will attain at the end of the following winter. This period also designates a shifting of key fluxes from upper ocean freshening from ice melt to increased salinity from brine extraction during ice growth. This transitional period has been examined in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas using ERS-1 SAR imagery and air temperatures from drifting buoys during 1991 and 1992. The SAR imagery is used to examine the condition and types of ice present in this period. Much of the surface melt water has drained off at this time. Air temperatures from drifting buoys coincident in time and within 100 km radius of the SAR imagery have been obtained...

  7. Fall Freeze-up of Sea Ice in the Beaufort-Chukchi Seas Using ERS-1 SAR and Buoy Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, B.; Winebrenner, B.; D., Nelson E.

    1993-01-01

    The lowering of air temperatures below freezing in the fall indicates the end of summer melt and the onset of steady sea ice growth. The thickness and condition of ice that remains at the end of summer has ramifications for the thickness that that ice will attain at the end of the following winter. This period also designates a shifting of key fluxes from upper ocean freshening from ice melt to increased salinity from brine extraction during ice growth. This transitional period has been examined in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas using ERS-1 SAR imagery and air temperatures from drifting buoys during 1991 and 1992. The SAR imagery is used to examine the condition and types of ice present in this period. Much of the surface melt water has drained off at this time. Air temperatures from drifting buoys coincident in time and within 100 km radius of the SAR imagery have been obtained...

  8. Surface Currents on the Northeastern Chukchi and Western Beaufort Sea Shelves as Detected by High Frequency Radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potter, R. A.; Fang, Y. C.; Statscewich, H.; Weingartner, T.; Winsor, P.

    2016-02-01

    High-resolution high-frequency radar (HFR) measurements of surface currents during the open water season in the northeastern Chukchi Sea and, more recently, the western Beaufort Sea have revealed enormous spatial and temporal complexity in the surface circulation. This variability is associated with the Alaskan Coastal Current within Barrow Canyon and its interaction with the flow over the western Beaufort Sea shelf, as well as eddies and fronts over the Chukchi Sea shelf. In the Chukchi, HFR suggests a front along 71.5°N, that likely separates summer Bering Sea water from ice meltwater that has not been entirely flushed from the region. North of the front the water column is heavily stratified, and the circulation is typically weaker and more variable in direction than the more easterly (and less stratified) flow south of this latitude. This eastward flow feeds central shelf waters toward Barrow Canyon and appears to persist even under westward winds that are <6 m/s. Moored data suggest that the HFR measurements reflect flow throughout the water column in unstratified areas, while in heavily stratified regions, the HFR velocities are a good proxy for flow in the upper 20 m of the water column occupied by the meltwater. At the juncture of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas the northeastward Alaskan Coastal Current flow emanating from the Chukchi shelf interacts with the typically westward flow on the Beaufort shelf to form a number of complex circulation features. These often include an anticyclonic eddy offshore of Cape Simpson where historical observations indicate that bowhead whales often feed. The eddy may aggregate zooplankton and thus enhance the feeding efficiency of bowheads in this region.

  9. Polar bear population status in the northern Beaufort Sea, Canada, 1971-2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stirling, I.; McDonald, T.L.; Richardson, E.S.; Regehr, E.V.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2011-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the northern Beaufort Sea (NB) population occur on the perimeter of the polar basin adjacent to the northwestern islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Sea ice converges on the islands through most of the year. We used open-population capture–recapture models to estimate population size and vital rates of polar bears between 1971 and 2006 to: (1) assess relationships between survival, sex and age, and time period; (2) evaluate the long-term importance of sea ice quality and availability in relation to climate warming; and (3) note future management and conservation concerns. The highest-ranking models suggested that survival of polar bears varied by age class and with changes in the sea ice habitat. Model-averaged estimates of survival (which include harvest mortality) for senescent adults ranged from 0.37 to 0.62, from 0.22 to 0.68 for cubs of the year (COY) and yearlings, and from 0.77 to 0.92 for 2–4 year-olds and adults. Horvtiz-Thompson (HT) estimates of population size were not significantly different among the decades of our study. The population size estimated for the 2000s was 980 ± 155 (mean and 95% CI). These estimates apply primarily to that segment of the NB population residing west and south of Banks Island. The NB polar bear population appears to have been stable or possibly increasing slightly during the period of our study. This suggests that ice conditions have remained suitable and similar for feeding in summer and fall during most years and that the traditional and legal Inuvialuit harvest has not exceeded sustainable levels. However, the amount of ice remaining in the study area at the end of summer, and the proportion that continues to lie over the biologically productive continental shelf (<300 m water depth) has declined over the 35-year period of this study. If the climate continues to warm as predicted, we predict that the polar bear population in the northern Beaufort Sea will eventually decline

  10. The ice fauna in the shallow southwestern Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carey, Andrew G.

    1992-06-01

    Sympagic fauna were studied in seasonal fast ice adjacent to Narwhal Island during the spring of 1979 and 1980, with emphasis on the origin of the fauna and its relationship to contiguous pelagic and benthic communities. The results of five subprojects are reviewed and compared with recent literature. Within Stefansson Sound, inshore of Narwhal Island, total sympagic meiofaunal densities and species diversity were low. In March 1979, the dominant taxa were polychaete larvae and crustacean nauplii, while in May the dominant group was Nematoda. Total numerical densities were low, ranging from 4500 to 8000 per m 2. During the spring of 1980 large numbers of invertebrate fauna concentrated at the undersurface of seasonal sea ice on the inner western Beaufort Sea continental shelf, seaward of Narwhal Island. The sympagic meiofauna were comprised primarily of benthic harpacticoid and cyclopoid copepods, turbellarians, nematode worms, and polychaete worm larvae. Total meiofaunal densities increased from about 6000 per m 2 in April to about 482,000 per m 2 in June. All life stages of Cyclopina gracilis (Copepoda: Cyclopoida) were present in the ice. This species appeared to reproduce continuously from early April to early June during the study period. The Harpacticus sp. (Copepoda: Harpaticoida) population consisted of one cohort whose individuals grew in size from April to early June. The sympagic macrofauna consisted entirely of amphipod crustaceans, primarily comprised of benthic species. Population size structure of the amphipod Pseudalibrotus (= Onisimus) litoralis was bimodal and there was a lack of intermediate growth stages. These characteristics indicate that this species has a two-year life cycle in the Beaufort Sea. The highest growth rate for P. litoralis coincided with maximal ice algal production. P. litoralis fed largely on meiofaunal Crustacea and amphipod fragments in April, but its diet switched to ice algae during the height of the bloom in late May

  11. Polar bear population status in the northern Beaufort Sea, Canada, 1971-2006.

    PubMed

    Stirling, Ian; McDonald, Trent L; Richardson, E S; Regehr, Eric V; Amstrup, Steven C

    2011-04-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the northern Beaufort Sea (NB) population occur on the perimeter of the polar basin adjacent to the northwestern islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Sea ice converges on the islands through most of the year. We used open-population capture-recapture models to estimate population size and vital rates of polar bears between 1971 and 2006 to: (1) assess relationships between survival, sex and age, and time period; (2) evaluate the long-term importance of sea ice quality and availability in relation to climate warming; and (3) note future management and conservation concerns. The highest-ranking models suggested that survival of polar bears varied by age class and with changes in the sea ice habitat. Model-averaged estimates of survival (which include harvest mortality) for senescent adults ranged from 0.37 to 0.62, from 0.22 to 0.68 for cubs of the year (COY) and yearlings, and from 0.77 to 0.92 for 2-4 year-olds and adults. Horvtiz-Thompson (HT) estimates of population size were not significantly different among the decades of our study. The population size estimated for the 2000s was 980 +/- 155 (mean and 95% CI). These estimates apply primarily to that segment of the NB population residing west and south of Banks Island. The NB polar bear population appears to have been stable or possibly increasing slightly during the period of our study. This suggests that ice conditions have remained suitable and similar for feeding in summer and fall during most years and that the traditional and legal Inuvialuit harvest has not exceeded sustainable levels. However, the amount of ice remaining in the study area at the end of summer, and the proportion that continues to lie over the biologically productive continental shelf (< 300 m water depth) has declined over the 35-year period of this study. If the climate continues to warm as predicted, we predict that the polar bear population in the northern Beaufort Sea will eventually decline

  12. Alaskan Beaufort Sea Heat Flow and Ocean Temperature Analysis: Implications for Stability of Climate-Sensitive Continental Slope Gas Hydrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phrampus, B. J.; Hornbach, M. J.; Ruppel, C. D.; Hart, P. E.

    2013-12-01

    Based on USGS estimates, gas hydrates beneath the continental slope of the US Beaufort Sea sequester several gigatons of methane. Warming of Beaufort Sea intermediate waters has the potential to cause dissociation of upper slope gas hydrates, release of methane to the overlying water column, and the buildup of pore pressure in slope sediments in an area first used by Kayen and Lee (1991) as the archetype for linked gas hydrate dynamics and slope failures. Limited constraints on regional heat flow, ocean temperature variability, and the extent of methane hydrates across the region have made analysis of Beaufort continental slope gas hydrate system difficult. Using legacy USGS seismic data combined with a new 3D thermal refraction model and more than 30 years of ocean temperature measurements, we analyze the stability of Beaufort continental slope methane hydrates. Our analysis provides the first regional heat flow map of the Alaskan shelf and margin, a detailed >30 year assessment of ocean temperature change in this region, and the first map revealing where disequilibrium methane hydrate stability conditions exist in the Western Beaufort Sea. Our results show that heat flow is complex and highly variable across the Beaufort margin, that intermediate ocean temperatures have warmed steadily for more than 30 years, and that the gas hydrates on the upper slope are out of equilibrium with overlying intermediate waters over large parts of the area. The discrepancy between observed and predicted hydrate stability depths is best explained by significant (>1 degC) intermediate ocean warming since the last glacial maximum. Even in the absence of persistent ocean warming conditions in the near future, the results predict destabilization of gas hydrates underlying an area ranging from ~4,750 km2 to ~30,000 km2 on the US Beaufort continental slope over the next 100 years. A fraction of the methane released by these gas hydrates may be emitted at seafloor seeps and contribute to

  13. The application of ERTS imagery to monitoring Arctic sea ice. [mapping ice in Bering Sea, Beaufort Sea, Canadian Archipelago, and Greenland Sea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, J. C. (Principal Investigator); Bowley, C. J.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Because of the effect of sea ice on the heat balance of the Arctic and because of the expanding economic interest in arctic oil and minerals, extensive monitoring and further study of sea ice is required. The application of ERTS data for mapping ice is evaluated for several arctic areas, including the Bering Sea, the eastern Beaufort Sea, parts of the Canadian Archipelago, and the Greenland Sea. Interpretive techniques are discussed, and the scales and types of ice features that can be detected are described. For the Bering Sea, a sample of ERTS-1 imagery is compared with visual ice reports and aerial photography from the NASA CV-990 aircraft. The results of the investigation demonstrate that ERTS-1 imagery has substantial practical application for monitoring arctic sea ice. Ice features as small as 80-100 m in width can be detected, and the combined use of the visible and near-IR imagery is a powerful tool for identifying ice types. Sequential ERTS-1 observations at high latitudes enable ice deformations and movements to be mapped. Ice conditions in the Bering Sea during early March depicted in ERTS-1 images are in close agreement with aerial ice observations and photographs.

  14. Sea ice and the onshore offshore gradient in pre-winter zooplankton assemblages in southeastern Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darnis, Gérald; Barber, David G.; Fortier, Louis

    2008-12-01

    Zooplankton communities were studied in southeastern Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean) in September-October 2002. Cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling revealed three distinct mesozooplankton assemblages. A neritic assemblage occurred on the Mackenzie Shelf and in Franklin Bay, while distinct off-shelf assemblages prevailed in the Cape Bathurst Polynya and on the Beaufort Slope respectively. Over 95% of the mesozooplankton was comprised of eight copepod taxa. Pseudocalanus spp. contributed predominantly to the discrimination of the three assemblages and was the only significant indicator of the Shelf assemblage. Oithona similis, Oncaea borealis, Metridia longa and Calanus hyperboreus were indicators of the Polynya assemblage. Cyclopina sp. and Microcalanus pygmaeus were indicative of the overall off-shelf community (Polynya and Slope assemblages). The importance of omnivores and carnivores increased from the shelf to the polynya and the slope. Station depth and duration of reduced ice conditions during summer (< 50% ice concentration) underpinned the distribution of the assemblages ( r2 = 0.71 and 0.45 respectively). The abundance of Pseudocalanus spp. was independent of depth and increased with the duration of reduced ice conditions ( rs = 0.438). The abundance of Cyclopina sp., M. pygmaeus and other indicators of the offshore assemblages followed the opposite trend ( rs = - 0.467 and - 0.5 respectively). Under continued climate warming, a reduction of the ice cover will affect the biogeography of mesozooplankton on and around the Mackenzie Shelf, to the potential advantage of Pseudocalanus spp. and other calanoid herbivores.

  15. The 2015 Spring Freshet and Its Effects on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasper, J.; Trefry, J. H.; Fox, A. L.; Savoie, M.; Fox, S. L.; Lawley, G.; Trocine, R. P.; Shipton, P.

    2016-02-01

    In 2015, a unique set of measurements were collected from the landfast ice of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, as the buoyant plume resulting from the spring freshet of the largest Arctic Alaska river, the Colville, spread beneath the sea ice covering Harrison Bay. Velocities of both the plume and the ambient shelf water beneath the plume were measured as well as salinity and temperature, particle size and concentration. A suite of geochemical measurements including dissolved oxygen, pH, total suspended solids, dissolved and particulate metals N, P, C and δ18O were made at the same time. In addition, the Colville as well as the nearby Sagavanirktok and Kuparak Rivers were sampled for many of these same parameters. This comprehensive set of measurements allows us to describe in detail the dynamics of the spring 2015 under ice freshet. The 2015 freshet on the North Slope of Alaska was marked by the rapid onset of melt simultaneously across the entire slope resulting in melt water rapidly spreading both over and under the sea ice north from the coast. Consistent with simple numerical models, the thickness of the buoyant under ice plume increased rapidly with time as well.

  16. Minimum distribution of subsea ice-bearing permafrost on the US Beaufort Sea continental shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, Laura L.; Hart, Patrick E.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.

    2012-01-01

    Starting in Late Pleistocene time (~19 ka), sea level rise inundated coastal zones worldwide. On some parts of the present-day circum-Arctic continental shelf, this led to flooding and thawing of formerly subaerial permafrost and probable dissociation of associated gas hydrates. Relict permafrost has never been systematically mapped along the 700-km-long U.S. Beaufort Sea continental shelf and is often assumed to extend to ~120 m water depth, the approximate amount of sea level rise since the Late Pleistocene. Here, 5,000 km of multichannel seismic (MCS) data acquired between 1977 and 1992 were examined for high-velocity (>2.3 km s−1) refractions consistent with ice-bearing, coarse-grained sediments. Permafrost refractions were identified along <5% of the tracklines at depths of ~5 to 470 m below the seafloor. The resulting map reveals the minimum extent of subsea ice-bearing permafrost, which does not extend seaward of 30 km offshore or beyond the 20 m isobath.

  17. Coastal environment of the Beaufort Sea from field data and ERTS-1 imagery, summer 1972

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reimnitz, E. (Principal Investigator); Barnes, P. W.

    1972-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. An extensive field program during the spring and summer in the coastal Beaufort Sea test site has been completed using a wide variety of sensing techniques. Reduction of field data and ERTS-1 image analysis have shown the coastal environment to be complexly influenced by unique processes, most of which involve or are related to sea ice. Active sedimentologic processes along the Arctic coast are set in motion by the melting, flooding, and eventual overflow of rivers onto the sea ice. It is now apparent that only minor amounts of sediment are transported offshore at this stage; however, scouring of the bottom is significant beneath the strudels (drain holes) which develop in the fast ice canopy in the region of overflow. Areal salinity and turbidity patterns together with ERTS-1 imagery confirm a consistent influx of colder, clearer, saltier water towards the coast just east of the Colville River. Strong (up to 3 knots) bidirectional but intermittent currents often manifest themselves in imagery and aerial photographs as wakes behind grounded ice. Ice movement vectors generated from repetitive images indicate that ice drift is closely associated with wind direction, especially in shallow bays, and displacements of 4-22 kilometers were noted in 24 hours.

  18. Coastal retreat and shoreface profile variations in the Canadian Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hequette, A.; Barnes, P.W.

    1990-01-01

    The coastline of the southern Canadian Beaufort Sea consists primarily of unconsolidated bluffs. Although the sea is ice-free for 3 months of the year and wave energy is restricted by pack ice, the coast is undergoing regional retreat with erosion rates as high as 10 m a-1 in some locations. Simple and multiple regression analyses were carried out to determine the degree of correlation between the mean retreat rate measured at various locations and the different parameters that may control shoreline recession. Sediment texture, ground-ice content, cliff height, wave energy and shoreface gradient revealed medium to poor correlation with erosion rates, showing that the recessive evolution of the coastline can not be explained solely by wave-induced and subaerial processes. The comparison of nearshore echo-sounding records from 1987 with bathymetry from 1971 showed substantial erosion (up to 1 m) of the submarine profile between 12 and 15 m of water. There is strong evidence that this erosion has been caused by sea ice gouging on the seafloor. From depths of 5 to 9 m, accretion has taken place, possibly induced by ice-push processes, and inshore of the 5 m isobath wave and current erosion of the shoreface has occurred. These results suggest that the erosion of the inner shelf by ice gouging drives the erosion observed inshore on the coastal bluffs and nearshore zone as the shoreface profile strives for a state of dynamic equilibrium. ?? 1990.

  19. Patterns in bacterial and archaeal community structure and diversity in western Beaufort Sea sediments and waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamdan, L. J.; Sikaroodi, M.; Coffin, R. B.; Gillevet, P. M.

    2010-12-01

    A culture-independent phylogenetic study of microbial communities in water samples and sediment cores recovered from the Beaufort Sea slope east of Point Barrow, Alaska was conducted. The goal of the work was to describe community composition in sediment and water samples and determine the influence of local environmental conditions on microbial populations. Archaeal and bacterial community composition was studied using length heterogeneity-polymerase chain reaction (LH-PCR) and multitag pyrosequencing (MTPS). Sediment samples were obtained from three piston cores on the slope (~1000m depth) arrayed along an east-west transect and one core from a depth of approximately 2000m. Discrete water samples were obtained using a CTD-rosette from three locations adjacent to piston core sites. Water sample were selected at three discrete depths within a vertically stratified (density) water column. The microbial community in near surface waters was distinct from the community observed in deeper stratified layers of the water column. Multidimensional scaling analysis (MDS) revealed that water samples from mid and deep stratified layers bore high similarity to communities in cores collected in close proximity. Overall, the highest diversity (bacteria and archaea) was observed in a core which had elevated methane concentration relative to other locations. Geochemical (e.g., bulk organic and inorganic carbon pools, nutrients, metabolites) and physical data (e.g. depth, water content) were used to reveal the abiotic factors structuring microbial communities. The analysis indicates that sediment water content (porosity) and inorganic carbon concentration are the most significant structuring elements on Beaufort shelf sedimentary microbial communities.

  20. A new genus and species of Thyasiridae (Mollusca, Bivalvia) from deep-water, Beaufort Sea, northern Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Valentich-Scott, Paul; Powell, Charles L.; II; Lorenson, Thomas D.; Edwards, Brian E.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Bivalve mollusk shells were collected in 2350 m depth in the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean off northern Alaska. Initial identification suggested the specimens were a member of the bivalve family Thyasiridae, but no known eastern Pacific or Arctic living or fossil thyasirid resembled these deep-water specimens. Comparisons were made with the type of the genera Maorithyas Fleming, 1950, Spinaxinus Oliver & Holmes, 2006, Axinus Sowerby, 1821, and Parathyasira Iredale, 1930. We determined the Beaufort Sea species represents a new genus, herein described as Wallerconcha. These specimens also represent a new species, herein named Wallerconcha sarae. These new taxa are compared with known modern and fossil genera and species of thyasirds. PMID:25589851

  1. Upper Ocean Evolution Across the Beaufort Sea Marginal Ice Zone from Autonomous Gliders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Craig; Rainville, Luc; Perry, Mary Jane

    2016-04-01

    The observed reduction of Arctic summertime sea ice extent and expansion of the marginal ice zone (MIZ) have profound impacts on the balance of processes controlling sea ice evolution, including the introduction of several positive feedback mechanisms that may act to accelerate melting. Examples of such feedbacks include increased upper ocean warming though absorption of solar radiation, elevated internal wave energy and mixing that may entrain heat stored in subsurface watermasses (e.g., the relatively warm Pacific Summer (PSW) and Atlantic (AW) waters), and elevated surface wave energy that acts to deform and fracture sea ice. Spatial and temporal variability in ice properties and open water fraction impact these processes. To investigate how upper ocean structure varies with changing ice cover, and how the balance of processes shift as a function of ice fraction and distance from open water, four long-endurance autonomous Seagliders occupied sections that extended from open water, through the marginal ice zone, deep into the pack during summer 2014 in the Beaufort Sea. Sections reveal strong fronts where cold, ice-covered waters meet waters that have been exposed to solar warming, and O(10 km) scale eddies near the ice edge. In the pack, Pacific Summer Water and a deep chlorophyll maximum form distinct layers at roughly 60 m and 80 m, respectively, which become increasingly diffuse as they progress through the MIZ and into open water. The isopynal layer between 1023 and 1024 kgm-3, just above the PSW, consistently thickens near the ice edge, likely due to mixing or energetic vertical exchange associated with strong lateral gradients in this region. This presentation will discuss the upper ocean variability, its relationship to sea ice extent, and evolution over the summer to the start of freeze up.

  2. Effects of capturing and collaring on polar bears: findings from long-term research on the southern Beaufort Sea population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rode, Karyn D.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Atwood, Todd C.; Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2014-01-01

    Implications: This study provides empirical evidence that current capture-based research methods do not have long-term implications, and are not contributing to observed changes in body condition, reproduction or survival in the southern Beaufort Sea. Continued refinement of capture protocols, such as the use of low-impact dart rifles and reversible drug combinations, might improve polar bear response to capture and abate short-term reductions in activity and movement post-capture.

  3. Aerial Surveys of the Beaufort Sea Seasonal Ice Zone in 2012-2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dewey, S.; Morison, J.; Andersen, R.; Zhang, J.

    2014-12-01

    Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys (SIZRS) of the Beaufort Sea aboard U.S. Coast Guard Arctic Domain Awareness flights were made monthly from May 2012 to October 2012, June 2013 to August 2013, and June 2014 to October 2014. In 2012 sea ice extent reached a record minimum and the SIZRS sampling ranged from complete ice cover to open water; in addition to its large spatial coverage, the SIZRS program extends temporal coverage of the seasonal ice zone (SIZ) beyond the traditional season for ship-based observations, and is a good set of measurements for model validation and climatological comparison. The SIZ, where ice melts and reforms annually, encompasses the marginal ice zone (MIZ). Thus SIZRS tracks interannual MIZ conditions, providing a regional context for smaller-scale MIZ processes. Observations with Air eXpendable CTDs (AXCTDs) reveal two near-surface warm layers: a locally-formed surface seasonal mixed layer and a layer of Pacific origin at 50-60m. Temperatures in the latter differ from the freezing point by up to 2°C more than climatologies. To distinguish vertical processes of mixed layer formation from Pacific advection, vertical heat and salt fluxes are quantified using a 1-D Price-Weller-Pinkel (PWP) model adapted for ice-covered seas. This PWP simulates mixing processes in the top 100m of the ocean. Surface forcing fluxes are taken from the Marginal Ice Zone Modeling and Assimilation System MIZMAS. Comparison of SIZRS observations with PWP output shows that the ocean behaves one-dimensionally above the Pacific layer of the Beaufort Gyre. Despite agreement with the MIZMAS-forced PWP, SIZRS observations remain fresher to 100m than do outputs from MIZMAS and ECCO.2. The shapes of seasonal cycles in SIZRS salinity and temperature agree with MIZMAS and ECCO.2 model outputs despite differences in the values of each. However, the seasonal change of surface albedo is not high enough resolution to accurately drive the PWP. Use of ice albedo

  4. The Floe Size Distribution in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweiger, A. J. B.; Stern, H. L., III; Stark, M.; Zhang, J.; Hwang, P. B.; Steele, M.

    2016-02-01

    In order to support the calibration and validation of our high-resolution coupled sea ice/ocean modeling and assimilation system, which now includes a floe size distribution (FSD), we have analyzed the FSD in 256 MODIS satellite images from 2013 and 2014 in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Proper characterization of the FSD is important for modeling the MIZ. We find that the FSD (the number of floes in different size categories) obeys a power-law distribution with an exponent that varies systematically over the course of spring, summer, and fall. The exponent (or slope in log-log space) is relatively shallow in spring but becomes steeper in summer, reflecting the fact that floes break up, resulting in fewer large floes relative to the number of small floes. In late summer the slope becomes shallower again, since small floes melt more quickly than large floes. The spatial resolution of MODIS limits our analysis to floes larger than about 1 km in diameter. To investigate smaller scales, we calculated the FSD in satellite images from radar (SAR, 50-meter resolution) and optical (MEDEA, 1-meter resolution) sensors that overlap in space and time with MODIS images, to see whether the power-law FSD in the MODIS images extends to smaller scales. We present the results of those calculations, as well as comparisons between the modeled and observed FSD.

  5. Change in Beaufort Sea Ice in the 1990s: A Perspective Based on Thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melling, H.; Riedel, D. A.

    2004-12-01

    A 12-year series of ice-draft measurements by sonar in the eastern Beaufort Sea provides opportunity to examine the impact of the warm 1990s in this area. The results are perhaps surprisingly. The average thickness of ice has changed little. The average ice coverage has changed little, although the coverage by old ice has increased slightly. The year 1998 stands out clearly as an anomaly. There is a large variation in average ice draft throughout the year which is driven by seasonally varying ice drift as well as by the annual cycle of freezing and melting. Inter-annual variation in average ice draft is also large, forced primarily by the impact of changes in average wind on ice circulation. However, year-to-year variation in storminess also appears important, through its impact on the flaw lead and on ridging along the coastal margin. The negligible trend in the average draft of the predominately first-year pack of this area is consistent with data for coastal sea ice over a wide area across northern Eurasia and North America, which span a half century. The trend may also be consistent with recent change in the thickness of pack ice in the central Arctic Ocean, when first-year and multi-year ice are examined separately.

  6. Erosional history of Cape Halkett and contemporary monitoring of bluff retreat, Beaufort Sea coast, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Arp, Christopher D.; Beck, Richard A.; Grosse, Guido; Webster, James M.; Urban, Frank E.

    2009-01-01

    Cape Halkett is located along the Beaufort Sea at the end of a low-lying tundra landscape. The area has been subject to major modifications over the last century as a result of erosion and migration of the coastline inland. Long-term mean annual erosion rates (1955-2009) for the entire cape are 7.6 m/yr, with a gradual increase in rates over the first five time periods of remotely sensed imagery analyzed and a large increase during the most recent time period. Division of the cape into three distinct coastal zones shows very different erosional patterns: the northeast-facing segment (Zone 1) showing a consistent and large increase; the southeast-facing segment (Zone 3) showing a gradual increase with recent, heightened erosion rates; and the east-facing segment (Zone 2) showing decreased rates due to the reformation of a sand and gravel spit. Monitoring of bluff erosion with time-lapse photography, differential GPS surveys, terrestrial and bathymetric surveys, and water level, sea and permafrost temperature data provide insights into the processes driving contemporary patterns of erosion and will provide valuable information for the prediction of future shoreline positions.

  7. Estuarine Nitrogen Dynamics Along the Alaskan Beaufort Sea Coast: Seasonal Patterns and Potential Climate Change Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClelland, J. W.; Connelly, T. L.; Crump, B. C.; Kellogg, C.; Dunton, K. H.

    2014-12-01

    Seasonal runoff and sea-ice cover create highly dynamic estuarine conditions in the Arctic. Studies focusing on major systems such as the Mackenzie have demonstrated how these variables interact to influence nutrient supply and uptake dynamics. Far less is known about the seasonality of smaller estuarine systems in the Arctic. Data collected from lagoons along the eastern Alaska Beaufort Sea coast show that salinities range from near zero in the spring to as high as 50 in the winter. Runoff and sea-ice thaw in the spring create highly stratified conditions, with hyper-saline bottom waters persisting through the summer in some locations. These variations in physical conditions are accompanied by variations in nitrogen availability within the lagoons. High concentrations of ammonium, and to a lesser extent nitrate, build up under the ice during the winter months. These nutrients are rapidly depleted during the ice break-up period and remain low throughout the summer. Concentrations of organic nitrogen, on the other hand, peak during the ice break-up period. While river inputs contribute directly to this nitrogen peak through the supply of land-derived organic matter, fatty acid markers also show that locally produced organic matter (primarily diatoms) peaks during the ice break-up period. Seasonal changes in nitrogen are accompanied by distinct shifts in microbial community composition as well as changes in stable isotope values of metazoan consumers. Changes in climate that are altering both runoff and sea-ice have the potential to influence the quantity and timing of nutrient availability and associated biological production in arctic coastal waters.

  8. Wind and Wave Influences on Sea Ice Floe Size and Leads in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas During the Summer-Fall Transition 2014

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-01-26

    RESEARCH ARTICLE 10.1002/2015JC011349 Wind and wave influences on sea ice floe size and leads in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas during the summer-fall...direction than with the mean wave direction. Their cor- relation with the geostrophic wind is stronger than with the surface wind . The spacing between...Rogers, 2014]. The compound effect of increasing winds and waves on the already thinner ice cov- ers [Kwok et al., 2009] can accelerate the overall

  9. Methylated Mercury in the Eastern Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean: The Role of Local and Recent Organic Remineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong, D.; Wang, F.

    2012-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a major contaminant in the Arctic marine ecosystem. While extensive studies have been conducted on Hg in the Arctic's atmosphere and biota, far less is known about the distribution and dynamics of Hg species in the Arctic Ocean. Here we present vertical profiles for total Hg (HgT) and total methylated Hg (MeHgT; primarily monomethylmercury MMHg, but also including dimethylmercury DMHg) from the eastern Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean at locations with differing sea ice conditions. The concentration of HgT ranged from 0.40 to 2.9 pM, with a surface enrichment that can be attributed to a combination of sea ice-modified atmospheric deposition and riverine input. The concentration of MeHgT ranged from <0.04 to 0.59 pM, with a sub-surface peak occurring at the same depth as a nutrient maximum and dissolved oxygen minimum which is consistent with the recent findings in the Pacific Ocean, Southern Ocean, and Mediterranean Sea. However, unlike the interior ocean regions, the nutrient maximum in the eastern Beaufort Sea is predominantly an advective feature produced over the Chukchi Shelf. Based on the short lifetime of MMHg in seawater, we propose that the MeHgT profile in the eastern Beaufort Sea reflects the local, short-term regeneration of labile organic matter (OM), and not the larger signal of organic regeneration advected from the Chukchi Sea in the halocline. The finding that MeHgT is produced locally, reflecting recent strength of OM cycling, not only explains wide variance in MeHgT in seawater and biota over time and space, but also implies that MeHgT could be used as an indicator of the recent export flux of labile OM.

  10. Physical and biological correlates of virus dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payet, Jérôme P.; Suttle, Curtis A.

    2008-12-01

    As part of the Canadian Arctic Shelf Exchange Study (CASES), we investigated the spatial and seasonal distributions of viruses in relation to biotic (bacteria, chlorophyll- a (chl a)) and abiotic variables (temperature, salinity and depth). Sampling occurred in the southern Beaufort Sea Shelf in the region of the Amundsen Gulf and Mackenzie Shelf, between November 2003 and August 2004. Bacterial and viral abundances estimated by epifluorescence microscopy (EFM) and flow cytometry (FC) were highly correlated ( r2 = 0.89 and r2 = 0.87, respectively), although estimates by EFM were slightly higher (FC = 1.08 × EFM + 0.12 and FC = 1.07 × EFM + 0.43, respectively). Viral abundances ranged from 0.13 × 10 6 to 23 × 10 6 ml - 1 , and in surface waters were ~ 2-fold higher during the spring bloom in May and June and ~ 1.5-fold higher during July and August, relative to winter abundances. These increases were coincident with a ~ 6-fold increase in chl a during spring and a ~ 4-fold increase in bacteria during summer. Surface viral abundances near the Mackenzie River were ~ 2-fold higher than in the Mackenzie Shelf and Amundsen Gulf regions during the peak summer discharge, concomitant with a ~ 5.5-fold increase in chl a (up to 2.4 μg l - 1 ) and a ~ 2-fold increase in bacterial abundance (up to 22 × 10 5 ml - 1 ). Using FC, two subgroups of viruses and heterotrophic bacteria were defined. A low SYBR-green fluorescence virus subgroup (V2) representing ~ 71% of the total viral abundance, was linked to the abundance of high nucleic acid fluorescence (HNA) bacteria (a proxy for bacterial activity), which represented 42 to 72% of the bacteria in surface layers. A high SYBR-green fluorescence viral subgroup (V1) was more related to high chl a concentrations that occurred in surface waters during spring and at stations near the Mackenzie River plume during the summer discharge. These results suggest that V1 infect phytoplankton, while most V2 are bacteriophages. On the

  11. Age and Sex Composition of Seals Killed by Polar Bears in the Eastern Beaufort Sea

    PubMed Central

    Pilfold, Nicholas W.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Stirling, Ian; Richardson, Evan; Andriashek, Dennis

    2012-01-01

    Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the Beaufort Sea enter hyperphagia in spring and gain fat reserves to survive periods of low prey availability. We collected information on seals killed by polar bears (n = 650) and hunting attempts on ringed seal (Pusa hispida) lairs (n = 1396) observed from a helicopter during polar bear mark-recapture studies in the eastern Beaufort Sea in spring in 1985–2011. We investigated how temporal shifts in ringed seal reproduction affect kill composition and the intraspecific vulnerabilities of ringed seals to polar bear predation. Principal Findings Polar bears primarily preyed on ringed seals (90.2%) while bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) only comprised 9.8% of the kills, but 33% of the biomass. Adults comprised 43.6% (150/344) of the ringed seals killed, while their pups comprised 38.4% (132/344). Juvenile ringed seals were killed at the lowest proportion, comprising 18.0% (62/344) of the ringed seal kills. The proportion of ringed seal pups was highest between 2007–2011, in association with high ringed seal productivity. Half of the adult ringed seal kills were ≥21 years (60/121), and kill rates of adults increased following the peak of parturition. Determination of sex from DNA revealed that polar bears killed adult male and adult female ringed seals equally (0.50, n = 78). The number of hunting attempts at ringed seal subnivean lair sites was positively correlated with the number of pup kills (r2 = 0.30, P = 0.04), but was not correlated with the number of adult kills (P = 0.37). Conclusions/Significance Results are consistent with decadal trends in ringed seal productivity, with low numbers of pups killed by polar bears in spring in years of low pup productivity, and conversely when pup productivity was high. Vulnerability of adult ringed seals to predation increased in relation to reproductive activities and age, but not gender. PMID:22829949

  12. Dramatic Weakening of the Pacific Water Boundary Current in the Beaufort Sea during the First Decade of the 2000s.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pickart, R. S.; Brugler, E.; Moore, K.; Roberts, S.; Weingartner, T.; Statscewich, H.

    2014-12-01

    Pacific-origin water has profound impacts on the physical state andecosystem of the Western Arctic Ocean. The cold winter waterventilates the upper halocline and supplies nutrients that fuelprimary productivity, while the warm summer waters melt sea ice andsupply freshwater to the Beaufort Gyre. Here we use mooring datacollected as part of the Arctic Observing Network (AON) to examine theinterannual trends in the current over the period 2002-2011.Strikingly, the volume transport of the current has decreased by morethan 80%, despite the fact that the flow through Bering Strait hasincreased over this time period. The largest changes have occurred inthe summer months. Using atmospheric reanalysis fields and weatherstation data, we demonstrate that an increase in summer easterly windsis the primary cause for the reduction in transport, which is largelydictated by the behavior of the two atmospheric centers of action, theBeaufort High and Aleutian Low. Using additional mooring and shipboarddata, together with satellite fields, we argue that a significantportion of the mass and heat passing through Bering Strait in recentyears has been advected out of Barrow Canyon into the interior CanadaBasin - rather than entering the boundary current in the Beaufort Sea- where it is responsible for a significant portion of the increasedsea ice melt in the basin.

  13. Under-ice ambient noise in Eastern Beaufort Sea, Canadian Arctic, and its relation to environmental forcing.

    PubMed

    Kinda, G Bazile; Simard, Yvan; Gervaise, Cédric; Mars, Jérome I; Fortier, Louis

    2013-07-01

    This paper analyzes an 8-month time series (November 2005 to June 2006) of underwater noise recorded at the mouth of the Amundsen Gulf in the marginal ice zone of the western Canadian Arctic when the area was >90% ice covered. The time-series of the ambient noise component was computed using an algorithm that filtered out transient acoustic events from 7-min hourly recordings of total ocean noise over a [0-4.1] kHz frequency band. Under-ice ambient noise did not respond to thermal changes, but showed consistent correlations with large-scale regional ice drift, wind speed, and measured currents in upper water column. The correlation of ambient noise with ice drift peaked for locations at ranges of ~300 km off the mouth of the Amundsen Gulf. These locations are within the multi-year ice plume that extends westerly along the coast in the Eastern Beaufort Sea due to the large Beaufort Gyre circulation. These results reveal that ambient noise in Eastern Beaufort Sea in winter is mainly controlled by the same meteorological and oceanographic forcing processes that drive the ice drift and the large-scale circulation in this part of the Arctic Ocean.

  14. Holocene History of the Bering Sea Bowhead Whale ( Balaena mysticetus) in Its Beaufort Sea Summer Grounds off Southwestern Victoria Island, Western Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, Arthur S.; Savelle, James M.

    2001-05-01

    The fossil remains of 43 bowhead whales were mapped on the raised beaches of western Wollaston Peninsula, Victoria Island, Canadian Arctic, near the historic summer range limit of the Bering Sea stock in the Beaufort Sea. The elevations and radiocarbon ages of the remains demonstrate that the bowhead ranged commonly into the region following the submergence of Bering Strait at ca. 10,000 14C yr B.P. until ca. 8500 14C yr B.P. During the same interval, bowheads ranged widely from the Beaufort Sea to Baffin Bay. Subsequently, no whales reached Wollaston Peninsula until ca. 1500 14C yr B.P. Late Holocene populations evidently were small, or occupations were brief, in comparison to those of the early Holocene. Although the late Holocene recurrence may relate to the expansion of pioneering Thule whalers eastward from Alaska, there are few Thule sites and limited evidence of Thule whaling in the area surveyed to support this suggestion.

  15. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Beaufort Sea, Fall 1989. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Treacy, S.D.

    1990-11-01

    The OCSLA Amendments of 1978 (43 U.S.C. 1802) established a policy for the management of oil and natural gas in the OCS and for protection of the marine and coastal environments. The amended OCSLA authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct studies in areas or regions of sales to ascertain the environmental impacts on the marine and coastal environments of the outer Continental Shelf and the coastal areas which may be affected by oil and gas development (43 U.S.C. 1346). The report describes field activities and data analyses for aerial surveys of bowhead whales conducted between 1 September 1989 and 20 October 1989 in the Beaufort Sea, primarily between 140 W. and 154 W. longitudes south of 72 N. latitude. Ice cover during September and October 1989 was exceptionally light. A total of 215 bowhead whales, 104 belukha whales, 9 bearded seals, 84 ringed seals, and 32 unidentified pinnipeds were observed in 1989 during 98.70 hours of survey effort that included 38.10 hours on randomized transects. The last sighting of a bowhead whale made during the survey occurred in open water on 19 October 1989. No whales were sighted during a subsequent flight on 20 October 1989. Estimated median and mean water depths were shallower than for previous surveys (1982-1989). This is consistent with a trend for whales to be located in shallower water during years of generally light ice cover.

  16. Reprocessing of multi-channel seismic-reflection data collected in the Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Agena, W.F.; Lee, Myung W.; Hart, P.E.

    2000-01-01

    Contained on this set of two CD-ROMs are stacked and migrated multi-channel seismic-reflection data for 65 lines recorded in the Beaufort Sea by the United States Geological Survey in 1977. All data were reprocessed by the USGS using updated processing methods resulting in improved interpretability. Each of the two CD-ROMs contains the following files: 1) 65 files containing the digital seismic data in standard, SEG-Y format; 2) 1 file containing navigation data for the 65 lines in standard SEG-P1 format; 3) an ASCII text file with cross-reference information for relating the sequential trace numbers on each line to cdp numbers and shotpoint numbers; 4) 2 small scale graphic images (stacked and migrated) of a segment of line 722 in Adobe Acrobat (R) PDF format; 5) a graphic image of the location map, generated from the navigation file; 6) PlotSeis, an MS-DOS Application that allows PC users to interactively view the SEG-Y files; 7) a PlotSeis documentation file; and 8) an explanation of the processing used to create the final seismic sections (this document).

  17. Size distribution of absorbing and fluorescing DOM in Beaufort Sea, Canada Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Zhiyuan; Guéguen, Céline

    2017-03-01

    The molecular weight (MW) of dissolved organic matter (DOM) is considered as an important factor affecting the bioavailability of organic matter and associated chemical species. Colored DOM (CDOM) MW distribution was determined, for the first time, in the Beaufort Sea (Canada Basin) by asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (AF4) coupled with online diode array ultra violet-visible photometer and offline fluorescence detectors. The apparent MW ranged from 1.07 to 1.45 kDa, congruent with previous studies using high performance size exclusion chromatography and tangential flow filtration. Interestingly, a minimum in MW was associated with the Pacific Summer Waters (PSW), while higher MW was associated with the Pacific Winter Waters (PWW). The Arctic Intermediate Waters (AIW) did not show any significant change in MW and fluorescence intensities distribution between stations, suggesting homogeneous DOM composition in deep waters. Three fluorescence components including two humic-like components and one protein-like component were PARAFAC-validated. With the increase of MW, protein-like fluorescence component became more dominant while the majority remained as marine/microbially derived humic-like components. Overall, it is concluded that water mass origin influenced DOM MW distribution in the Arctic Ocean.

  18. Acoustic and visual surveys for bowhead whales in the western Beaufort and far northeastern Chukchi seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Sue E.; Stafford, Kathleen M.; Munger, Lisa M.

    2010-01-01

    Two types of passive-acoustic survey were conducted to investigate the seasonal occurrence of bowhead whales ( Balaena mysticetus) in the western Beaufort and far northeastern Chukchi seas: (1) an over-winter (2003-04) survey using autonomous recorders deployed northeast of Barrow, Alaska, and (2) a summertime dipping-hydrophone survey along the 2005 NOAA Ocean Exploration (OE) cruise track northwest of Barrow. The longest continuous sampling period from the over-winter survey was 3 October 2003 to 12 May 2004. During that period, bowhead whale calls were recorded from 3 to 23 October, intermittently on 6-7 and 22-23 November, then not again until 25 March 2004. Bowhead calls were recorded almost every hour from 19 April to 12 May 2004, with a call rate peak on 30 April ( ca. 9400 calls) and a few instances of patterned calling (or, "song") detected in early May. Bowhead whale calls were never detected during the NOAA OE cruise, but calls of beluga whales ( Delphinapterus leucas) were recorded at 3 of 16 acoustic stations. Opportunistic visual surveys for marine mammals were also conducted during the NOAA OE cruise from the ship (65 h) and helicopter (7.8 h), resulting in single sightings of bowhead whales (3-5 whales), beluga (16-20 whales), walrus (1), polar bear (2=sow/cub), and 17 sightings of 87 ringed seals from the ship and 15 sightings of 67 ringed seals from the helicopter.

  19. Marine heat flow measurements across subsea permafrost limit in the eastern Mackenzie Trough, Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y. G.; Hong, J. K.; Jin, Y. K.; Riedel, M.; Melling, H.; Kang, S. G.; Dallimore, S.

    2015-12-01

    Marine heat flow measurements using a 5 m-long Ewing-type heat probe were made during Korean icebreaker R/V Araon's Arctic expeditions (ARA04C in 2013 and ARA05B in 2014) to better know the shallow subsurface thermal structure in the eastern slope of Mackenzie Trough, the Canadian Beaufort Sea, in which associative geological processes of permafrost degradation and gas hydrate dissociation occur because of long-term warming since the Last Glacial Maximum. Heat flow in the continental slope was collected for the first time and is rather higher than those from deep boreholes (up to a few km below the seafloor) in the continental shelf. However, the smaller geothermal gradient and thermal conductivity were observed from sites along a transect line across permafrost limit on the eastern slope of the trough. It is noted that geothermal gradients are relatively constant in the vicinity of permafrost limit but are much smaller (even minus) only at deeper depths with positive bottom water temperature. Reason for such distribution is unclear yet. Based on observed geothermal gradient and bottom water temperature, permafrost table shown in subbottom profile seems to be controlled not by temperature. On the other hand, our finding of permafrost evidence on the other subbottom profile located landward may support that permafrost limit in the trough is along with ~100 m isobath.

  20. Zones of impact around icebreakers affecting beluga whales in the Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Erbe, C; Farmer, D M

    2000-09-01

    A software model estimating zones of impact on marine mammals around man-made noise [C. Erbe and D. M. Farmer, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 108, 1327-1331 (2000)] is applied to the case of icebreakers affecting beluga whales in the Beaufort Sea. Two types of noise emitted by the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Henry Larsen are analyzed: bubbler system noise and propeller cavitation noise. Effects on beluga whales are modeled both in a deep-water environment and a near-shore environment. The model estimates that the Henry Larsen is audible to beluga whales over ranges of 35-78 km, depending on location. The zone of behavioral disturbance is only slightly smaller. Masking of beluga communication signals is predicted within 14-71-km range. Temporary hearing damage can occur if a beluga stays within 1-4 km of the Henry Larsen for at least 20 min. Bubbler noise impacts over the short ranges quoted; propeller cavitation noise accounts for all the long-range effects. Serious problems can arise in heavily industrialized areas where animals are exposed to ongoing noise and where anthropogenic noise from a variety of sources adds up.

  1. Drilling and operational sounds from an oil production island in the ice-covered Beaufort sea.

    PubMed

    Blackwell, Susanna B; Greene, Charles R; Richardson, W John

    2004-11-01

    Recordings of sounds underwater and in air, and of iceborne vibrations, were obtained at Northstar Island, an artificial gravel island in the Beaufort Sea near Prudhoe Bay (Alaska). The aim was to document the levels, characteristics, and range dependence of sounds and vibrations produced by drilling and oil production during the winter, when the island was surrounded by shore-fast ice. Drilling produced the highest underwater broadband (10-10,000 Hz) levels (maximum= 124 dB re: 1 microPa at 1 km), and mainly affected 700-1400 Hz frequencies. In contrast, drilling did not increase broadband levels in air or ice relative to levels during other island activities. Production did not increase broadband levels for any of the sensors. In all media, broadband levels decreased by approximately 20 dB/tenfold change in distance. Background levels underwater were reached by 9.4 km during drilling and 3-4 km without. In the air and ice, background levels were reached 5-10 km and 2-10 km from Northstar, respectively, depending on the wind but irrespective of drilling. A comparison of the recorded sounds with harbor and ringed seal audiograms showed that Northstar sounds were probably audible to seals, at least intermittently, out to approximately 1.5 km in water and approximately 5 km in air.

  2. Joint effects of wind and ice motion in forcing upwelling in Mackenzie Trough, Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, William J.; Carmack, Eddy C.; Shimada, Koji; Melling, Humfrey; Aagaard, Knut; Macdonald, Robie W.; Grant Ingram, R.

    2006-12-01

    Mackenzie Trough, a cross shelf canyon in the Beaufort Sea shelf, is shown to be a site of enhanced shelf-break exchange via upwelling caused by wind- and ice-driven ocean surface-stresses. To characterize flow within the Trough, we analyze current meter mooring data and concurrent wind and ice velocity data from 1993 to 1996, and show CTD/ADCP sections from 2002. Mackenzie Trough is approximately 400 m deep and 60 km wide, but dynamically it is only 2-3 times the baroclinic Rossby radius at its mouth, and patterns of upwelling and downwelling flow within the canyon are similar to dynamically 'narrow' canyons. Large upwelling events within the canyon are associated with wind in the short ice-free summer season and with ice motion in winter. Ice motion does not necessarily reflect the wind-stress because of internal ice stresses that differentially block downwelling-causing ice motion. The asymmetry between upwelling and downwelling flow within the canyon combined with the predominance of upwelling-causing ice motion, suggests that Mackenzie Trough is a conduit for deeper, nutrient-rich water to the shelf.

  3. The Beaufort Sea fold-and-thrust belt, northwestern Canada: Implications for thrust-belt evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Root, K.G. )

    1991-06-01

    The northeasternmost segment of the Cordilleran thrust belt of western North American underlies the Beaufort Sea continental margin. Folds and associated northesat-directed thrusts in this region formed synchronously with Tertiary sedimentation. As a result, the times of fold development can be determined from reflection seismic data by analyzing lateral thickness changes in stratigraphic sequences of known ages, and onlap and truncation relationships at unconformities. Thrust faulting occurred throughout the late Paleocene-Pliocene. The abundant temporal data indicate the deformational seuqence was significantly differet from the simple, steplike, foreland-propagating model formulated in other less well-dated thrust belts. Many thrusts were active simultaneously, especially during the late Eocnee, when the region of active thrusting had an across-strike width of greater than 200 km. This observation calls into question the popular concept that only one thrust moves at a time as a thrust belt develops. The thrust belt propagated along, as well as across, strike. During the late Paleocene-middle Eocene, the area of active thrusting was bounded on the southeast by poorly imaged zones of right-lateral strike-slip faults that apparently are the northern offshore continuation of the Rapid fault array. The change in the age of thrusting along strike results in no obvious geometrical anomalies and could not be deduced without timing information. This has an important implication: temporal data cannot necessarily be projected along strike in a thrust belt.

  4. Late summer and fall wave climate in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, 2000-2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Y.; Rogers, W.; Thomson, J.; Stopa, J.

    2016-02-01

    Jim Thomson, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, WA According to IPCC, "warming in the Arctic, as indicated by daily maximum and minimum temperatures, has been as great as in any other part of the world." Some regions within the Arctic have warmed even more rapidly, with Alaska and western Canada's temperature rising by 3 to 4 °C (5.40 to 7.20 °F). Arctic ice is getting thinner, melting and rupturing. The polar ice cap as a whole is shrinking. Images from NASA satellites show that the area of permanent ice cover is contracting at a rate of 9 percent each decade. If this trend continues, summers in the Arctic could become ice-free by the end of the century. Arctic storms thus have the potential to create large waves in the region. Ocean waves can also penetrate remarkable distances into ice fields and impact sea-ice thermodynamics by breaking up ice floes and accelerating ice melting during the summer (Asplin et al 2012); or influencing sea-ice growth and hence the morphology of the mature ice sheet during the winter (Lange et al 1989). Waves breaking on the shore could also affect the coastlines, where melting permafrost is already making shores more vulnerable to erosion. Preliminary wave model results from four selected years suggests that the sea state of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas is controlled by the wind forcing and the amount of ice-free water available to generate surface waves. In particular, larger waves are more common in years with low or late sea ice cover. Trends in amount of wave energy impinging on the ice edge, however, are inconclusive. To better understand the potential effect of surface wave on the advance/retreat of ice edges and the coastlines. 15 years (2000 to 2014) of surface wave simulations in the Arctic Ocean using WAVEWATCH III will be conducted. Wind and ice forcing are obtained from the ERA-interim global reanalysis produced by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Wave energy

  5. The origin, distribution, and depositional history of gravel deposits on the Beaufort Sea Continental Shelf, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodeick, Craig A.

    1979-01-01

    Two distinct gravel populations are present on the Beaufort Sea continental shelf. First, a geographically arcuate deposit that is convex seaward has been designated as the Chert Facies. This deposit is restricted to landward of the 10 meter bathymetric contour and west of Heald Point. The Chert Facies, originally a fluvial gravel deposit and probably part of the basal transgressive, represents reworked Gubik Formation. The Chert Facies is derived from the Brooks Range. The second population is the Dolomite Facies. This facies is a blanket deposit covering much of the shelf and occurs in most water depths greater than 10 meters. The Dolomite Facies extends on land into the Quaternary Gubik Formation east of Prudhoe Bay and probably to Point Barrow. Rocks of the Dolomite Facies are exotic to Alaska and represent ice rafted clasts. The distribution of the Dolomite Facies shelf gravel indicates an easterly source compatible with a proposed provenance surrounding the Amundsen Gulf of the Canadian Archipelago. Radiocarbon dates from undisturbed sediment underlying the gravel on the upper slope indicate that low Holocene sedimentation rates are the reason for gravel exposure in this region and on the outer shelf. Considerations of sea level fluctuations, possible times available for the transportation of gravel from the proposed source area to the study area, and radiocarbon dates indicate influxes of ice rafted debris during the mid-Wisconsin transgression and probably between 15, 000-10,000 years B. P. Correlation of the Gubik Formation at Heald Point with the Barrow unit of the Gubik Formation at Point Barrow on the basis of incorporated dolomite and orthoquartzite clasts is suggested.

  6. Degradation state of organic matter in surface sediments from the Southern Beaufort Sea: a lipid approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rontani, J.-F.; Charriere, B.; Petit, M.; Vaultier, F.; Heipieper, H. J.; Link, H.; Chaillou, G.; Sempéré, R.

    2012-09-01

    For the next decades significant climatic changes should occur in the Arctic zone. The expected destabilisation of permafrost and its consequences for hydrology and plant cover should increase the input of terrigenous carbon to coastal seas. Consequently, the relative importance of the fluxes of terrestrial and marine organic carbon to the seafloor will likely change, strongly impacting the preservation of organic carbon in Arctic marine sediments. Here, we investigated the lipid content of surface sediments collected on the Mackenzie basin in the Beaufort Sea. Particular attention was given to biotic and abiotic degradation products of sterols and monounsaturated fatty acids. By using sitosterol and campesterol degradation products as tracers of the degradation of terrestrial higher plant inputs and brassicasterol degradation products as tracers of degradation of phytoplanktonic organisms, it could be observed that autoxidation, photooxidation and biodegradation processes act much more intensively on higher plant debris than on phytoplanktonic organisms. Examination of oxidation products of monounsaturated fatty acids showed that photo- and autoxidation processes act more intensively on bacteria than on phytodetritus. Enhanced damages induced by singlet oxygen (transferred from senescent phytoplanktonic cells) in bacteria were attributed to the lack of an adapted antioxidant system in these microorganisms. The strong oxidative stress observed in the sampled sediments resulted in the production of significant amounts of epoxy acids and unusually high proportions of monounsaturated fatty acids with a trans double bond. The formation of epoxy acids was attributed to peroxygenases (enzymes playing a protective role against the deleterious effects of fatty acid hydroperoxides in vivo), while cis/trans isomerisation was probably induced by thiyl radicals produced during the reaction of thiols with hydroperoxides. Our results confirm the important role played by abiotic

  7. Methane Contribution to Shallow Sediment Carbon Cyclng across the Alaskan Shelf, Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coffin, R. B.; Hamdan, L. J.; Smith, J. P.; Plummer, R. E.; Millholland, L. C.; Wood, W.; Mitas 1

    2010-12-01

    The MITAS (Methane In The Arctic Shelf/Slope) expedition was onboard the USCGC Polar Sea, in the Beaufort Sea, on the Alaskan North Slope, during September 2009. The goals of the expedition were to investigate spatial variation in deep sediment and permafrost methane source(s), vertical fluxes, and the resulting shallow sediment carbon cycling. During this expedition four different regions were compared; nearshore permafrost around the Hammerhead drill site, offshore Hammerhead, Thetis Island, and Halkett. With exception of the shallow permafrost region, transects were made with water column depths ranging from approximately 100m to 2200m. Core locations were selected with review of past MMS and USGS seismic data and on board analysis of 3.5 kHz acoustic data. Piston cores and vibrocores were retrieved for analyses of sediment and porewater dissolved and particulate carbon concentrations and stable isotope analyses. Large variations were suggested in vertical methane fluxes between the 4 different regions, with downward sulfate diffusion ranging from -2.0 mM m-2 a-1 to -154.8 mM m-2 a-1. The lowest methane flux was indicated at Hammerhead in nearshore permafrost and offshore coring. Moving westward to the Thetis Island core sites there was a slight increase in the methane flux and further west at Halkett maximum methane fluxes were observed. The stable carbon isotope ratios of sediment core methane, ranging from -105‰ to -58‰, shows a variation in the shallow sediment carbon cycling within and between the study locations. This presentation will focus on spatial variation in the methane contribution to shallow sediment organic and inorganic carbon pools.

  8. Trophic transfer of persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) within an Arctic marine food web from the southern Beaufort-Chukchi Seas.

    PubMed

    Hoekstra, P F; O'Hara, T M; Fisk, A T; Borgå, K; Solomon, K R; Muir, D C G

    2003-01-01

    Stable isotope values (13C, 15N) and concentrations of persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) were determined to evaluate the near-shore marine trophic status of biota and biomagnification of OCs from the southern Beaufort-Chukchi Seas (1999-2000) near Barrow, AK. The biota examined included zooplankton (Calanus spp.), fish species such as arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus), pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), and fourhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis), along with marine mammals, including bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus), beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus). The isotopically derived trophic position of biota from the Beaufort-Chukchi Seas marine food web, avian fauna excluded, is similar to other coastal food webs in the Arctic. Concentrations of OCs in marine mammals were significantly greater than in fish and corresponded with determined trophic level. In general, OCs with the greatest food web magnification factors (FWMFs) were those either formed due to biotransformation (e.g. p,p'-DDE, oxychlordane) or considered recalcitrant (e.g. -HCH, 2,4,5-Cl substituted PCBs) in most biota, whereas concentrations of OCs that are considered to be readily eliminated (e.g. -HCH) did not correlate with trophic level. Differences in physical-chemical properties of OCs, feeding strategy and possible biotransformation were reflected in the variable biomagnification between fish and marine mammals. The FWMFs in the Beaufort-Chukchi Seas region were consistent with reported values in the Canadian Arctic and temperate food webs, but were statistically different than FWMFs from the Barents and White Seas, indicating that the spatial variability of OC contamination in top-level marine Arctic predators is attributed to differences in regional sources of contamination rather than trophic position.

  9. Changes in Soils and Permafrost as a Function of Distance to the Beaufort Sea Coast, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynn, L. A.; Ping, C.; Jorgenson, T.; Fortier, D.; Dou, F.

    2006-12-01

    Observed increases in the rate of coastal erosion have raised concerns about long term effects along the Beaufort Sea coast, Alaska. The objective of this study is to examine changes in soil and permafrost along three transects from the coastal bluff to 100 meters inland along the Beaufort Sea coast at three sites. The specific objectives are to determine site stratigraphy, cryogenic structure of the permafrost, and properties of the active layer as well as determine the effects of distance on the soil drainage, morphology, physical and biochemical properties, and fungal activity. Three sites on the north coast of Alaska were selected: Barrow, Prudhoe Bay, and Kaktovik. At each site three transects were laid perpendicular to the coast along which five points were designated: the bluff exposure at zero meters, one meter, five, 25, and 100 meters from the bluff. Elevations along transects were recorded as well as water depth and active layer thaw depth. Vegetative species and distribution data were recorded as well as physiographic descriptions. Soil samples for analysis were collected from each horizon of the active layer. The permafrost was sampled to a maximum depth of 2.5 meters in order to determine soil stratigraphy and ice content and to understand soil disturbances related to ice wedge growth in the polygons. Thermokarst trough expansion and changes in water ponding will be evaluated using historical photographs and GIS analysis. On polygonal terrain along the coast, soil properties including the type of sediment, cryoturbations, and ice content are strongly related to the dynamics of ice-wedge polygon development during the Holocene. This situation complicates the stratigraphy and the dynamics of the active layer and renders the systematic interpretation of the soils along a gradient perpendicular to the coast a challenge. Based on the first-year study, preliminary observations indicate that coastal erosion may propagate a substantial distance inland

  10. Stopover ecology of Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) at coastal deltas of the Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churchwell, Roy T.

    Avian migration is one of the wonders of the natural world. Stored fats are the main source of nutrients and fuel for avian migration and it is assumed the fat deposition at stopover sites is a critical component of a successful migration. Stopover sites are crucial in the successful migration of many birds, but particularly for arctic-breeding shorebirds that migrate long distances from breeding to wintering grounds. Despite the importance of stopover sites, it is often difficult to determine the importance of these sites to migrating shorebirds. I investigated three aspects of stopover ecology of Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) foraging at coastal deltas on the Beaufort Sea coast, Alaska. First, I quantified the spatial and temporal distribution and abundance of the benthic macroinvertebrate community living within the mudflats. I found that there were two ecological groups of macroinvertebrates using river deltas, one originated in terrestrial freshwater habitats and most importantly could withstand freezing in delta sediments over the winter, and the other originated from the marine environment, could not withstand freezing and had to migrate to intertidal habitats each summer from deeper water areas that did not freeze over the winter. Stable isotope analysis allowed me to describe the origin of carbon consumed by invertebrates in intertidal habitats. I predicted freshwater invertebrates would consume terrestrial carbon, and marine invertebrates would consume marine carbon, but I found that both groups utilized the same carbon, which was a mixture of terrestrial and marine sources. My second research question determined the importance of delta foraging habitat for fall migrating Semipalmated Sandpipers. I mapped the temporal distribution and abundance of birds and quantified this relationship to invertebrate distribution and abundance. I researched fattening rates of shorebirds by measuring triglycerides in the blood of shorebirds I captured. I

  11. Ecosystem model of the entire Beaufort Sea marine ecosystem: a tool for assessing food-web structure and ecosystem changes from 1970 to 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suprenand, P. M.; Hoover, C.

    2016-02-01

    The Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem is approximately a 476,000 km2 area in the Arctic Ocean, which extends from -112.5 to -158° longitude to 67.5 to 75° latitude. Within this Arctic Ocean area the United States (Alaskan) indigenous communities of Barrow, Kaktovik, and Nuiqsut, and the Canadian (Northwest Territories) indigenous communities of Aklavik, Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Ulukhaktok, and Sachs Harbour, subsist by harvesting marine mammals, fish, and invertebrates from the Beaufort Sea to provide the majority of their community foods annually. The ecosystem in which the indigenous communities harvest is considered a polar habitat that includes many specialized species, such as polar bears that rely on sea-ice for foraging activities and denning, or ice algae that are attached to the cryosphere. However, the polar habitat has been experiencing a diminishing sea-ice extent, age, and seasonal duration, with concomitant increases in sea surface temperatures (SSTs), since the 1970s. Changes in sea-ice and SST have consequences to the Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem, which includes animal habitat losses, alterations to trophodynamics, and impacts to subsistence community harvesting. The present study was aimed at capturing trophodynamic changes in the Beaufort Sea coastal-marine ecosystem from 1970 to 2014 using a fitted spatial-temporal model (Ecopath with Ecosim and Ecospace) that utilizes forcing and mediation functions to describe animal/trophodynamic relationships with sea-ice and sea surface temperature, as well as individual community harvesting efforts. Model outputs reveals similar trends in animals population changes (e.g., increasing bowhead whale stock), changes in apex predator diets (e.g., polar bears eating less ringed seal), and changes in animal distributions (e.g., polar bears remaining closer to land over time). The Beaufort Sea model is a dynamic tool for Arctic Ocean natural resource management in the years to come.

  12. Bioaccumulation of petroleum hydrocarbons in arctic amphipods in the oil development area of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Neff, Jerry M; Durell, Gregory S

    2012-04-01

    An objective of a multiyear monitoring program, sponsored by the US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management was to examine temporal and spatial changes in chemical and biological characteristics of the Arctic marine environment resulting from offshore oil exploration and development activities in the development area of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. To determine if petroleum hydrocarbons from offshore oil operations are entering the Beaufort Sea food web, we measured concentrations of hydrocarbons in tissues of amphipods, Anonyx nugax, sediments, Northstar crude oil, and coastal peat, collected between 1999 and 2006 throughout the development area. Mean concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), saturated hydrocarbons (SHC), and sterane and triterpane petroleum biomarkers (StTr) were not significantly different in amphipods near the Northstar oil production facility, before and after it came on line in 2001, and in amphipods from elsewhere in the study area. Forensic analysis of the profiles (relative composition and concentrations) of the 3 hydrocarbon classes revealed that hydrocarbon compositions were different in amphipods, surface sediments where the amphipods were collected, Northstar crude oil, and peat from the deltas of 4 North Slope rivers. Amphipods and sediments contained a mixture of petrogenic, pyrogenic, and biogenic PAH. The SHC in amphipods were dominated by pristane derived from zooplankton, indicating that the SHC were primarily from the amphipod diet of zooplankton detritus. The petroleum biomarker StTr profiles did not resemble those in Northstar crude oil. The forensic analysis revealed that hydrocarbons in amphipod tissues were not from oil production at Northstar. Hydrocarbons in amphipod tissues were primarily from their diet and from river runoff and coastal erosion of natural diagenic and fossil terrestrial materials, including seep oils, kerogens, and peat. Offshore oil and gas exploration and development

  13. Plankton ecosystem functioning and nitrogen fluxes in the most oligotrophic waters of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean: a modeling study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Fouest, V.; Zakardjian, B.; Xie, H.; Raimbault, P.; Joux, F.; Babin, M.

    2012-10-01

    The Arctic Ocean (AO) undergoes profound changes of its physical and biotic environments due to climate change. The greater light exposure and stratification alter its plankton ecosystem structure, functioning and productivity promoting oligotrophy in some areas as the Beaufort Sea. A one-dimension (1-D) physical-biological coupled model based on the large multiparametric database of the Malina project in the Beaufort Sea was used (i) to infer the functioning and nitrogen fluxes within the summer plankton ecosystem and (ii) to assess the model sensitivity to key light-associated processes involved in nutrient recycling and phytoplankton growth. The coupled model suggested that ammonium photochemically produced from photosensitive dissolved organic nitrogen (i.e. photoammonification process) was a necessary nitrogen source to achieve the observed levels of microbial biomass and production. It contributed to ca. two-thirds and one-third of the simulated surface (0-10 m) and depth-integrated primary and bacterial production, respectively. The model also suggested that carbon to chlorophyll ratios for small (< 5 μm) phytoplankton (ca. 15-45 g g-1) lower than those commonly used in biogeochemical models applied to the AO were required to simulate the observed herbivorous versus microbial food web competition and realistic nitrogen fluxes in the Beaufort Sea oligotrophic waters. In face of accelerating Arctic warming, more attention should be paid in the future to the mechanistic processes involved in food webs and functional groups competition, nutrient recycling and primary production in poorly productive waters of the AO as they are expected to expand rapidly.

  14. Methane and carbon dioxide content in eroding permafrost soils along the Beaufort Sea coast, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaelson, G. J.; Ping, C. L.; Jorgenson, M. T.

    2011-03-01

    Soil CH4 and CO2 gas contents were determined at 39 sites located along the 1957 km coastline of the Beaufort Sea of northern Alaska. Average soil CH4 concentrations increased with depth into the upper frozen layers, while the CO2 decreased with depth. Over 80% of the CH4 and 46% of the total CO2 were contained in the permafrost portion of the profiles. Overall, average concentrations of CH4 within the soil profiles were correlated to water content (R2 = 0.66, p ≤ 0.01). Concentrations of CO2 were correlated to total organic carbon (R2 = 0.76, p ≤ 0.001) and negatively correlated to water content (R2 = 0.61, p ≤ 0.01). The highest total bank gas concentrations for both gases were found in ice-rich permafrost (average volumetric H2O ≥ 70%). Soils eroded across the coast annually were estimated to contain 3.61 ± 1.35 t CH4 (average 1.86 ± 0.70 g m-2) and 469 ± 128 t CO2 (average 240 ± 65 g m-2). Gas amounts present in annually eroding banks were on the same order of magnitude as amounts emitted per year on an area basis from undisturbed tundra and lakes reported by others for the Arctic and smaller than previous estimates for local coastal anthropogenic sources. Soil stocks of gases, water and total organic carbon indicate that with coastal permafrost degradation gas release is minor in magnitude and importance to C-dynamics when compared to the TOC stocks of the coastline.

  15. Characterization of Diet using Stomach Contents and Multivariate Statistics of four Beaufort Sea Eelpout Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Apsens, S. J.; Norcross, B.

    2016-02-01

    Eelpouts of the genus Lycodes are a group of demersal fish commonly found in the U.S. Beaufort Sea. They are relatively numerous, having composed a significant proportion of fish catches during trawl surveys, and they are consumed by marine mammals and birds. Eelpouts themselves may also potentially feed on, or compete for resources with, other fish species. Currently, however, their exact role in the Arctic food web is still poorly understood. Percent number (%N) and percent weight (%W) were used to describe diet, and multivariate techniques were used to look for patterns across environmental (depth and longitude) and biological (length) gradients. Fish were collected in August and September of 2012 and 2014 as part of the U.S.-Canada Transboundary cruises. Stomachs from four eelpout species were examined: Adolf's Eelpout Lycodes adolfi, Canadian Eelpout L. polaris, Archers Eelpout L. sagittarius, and Longear Eelpout L. seminudus. Polychaetes, benthic amphipods, brittle stars, and harpacticoid copepods composed a large part of the observed diet for all four Lycodes species, but proportions differed by species. Intraspecific similarity was low, suggesting these fish have diverse diets even among individuals of the same species. Fish total length was found to be correlated with diet composition for all fish species examined except L. seminudus. Longitude and depth were found to be correlated with diet for L. sagittarius. Identifying prey and factors influencing diet are initial steps towards characterizing the ecological role of this fish genus in the U.S. Arctic food web. Ecological information on abundant fish species is needed for the development of ecosystem-based management practices. Establishing a benchmark for this group is important for understanding their current and future role in the rapidly changing Arctic food web.

  16. Modern erosion rates and loss of coastal features and sites, Beaufort Sea coastline, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, Benjamin M.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Arp, C.D.; Eisner, Wendy R.

    2008-01-01

    This study presents modern erosion rate measurements based upon vertical aerial photography captured in 1955, 1979, and 2002 for a 100 km segment of the Beaufort Sea coastline. Annual erosion rates from 1955 to 2002 averaged 5.6 m a-1. However, mean erosion rates increased from 5.0 m a-1 in 1955-79 to 6.2 m a-1 in 1979-2002. Furthermore, from the first period to the second, erosion rates increased at 60% (598) of the 992 sites analyzed, decreased at 31% (307), and changed less than ?? 30 cm at 9% (87). Historical observations and quantitative studies over the past 175 years allowed us to place our erosion rate measurements into a longer-term context. Several of the coastal features along this stretch of coastline received Western place names during the Dease and Simpson expedition in 1837, and the majority of those features had been lost by the early 1900s as a result of coastline erosion, suggesting that erosion has been active over at least the historical record. Incorporation of historical and modern observations also allowed us to detect the loss of both cultural and historical sites and modern infrastructure. U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps reveal a number of known cultural and historical sites, as well as sites with modern infrastructure constructed as recently as the 1950s, that had disappeared by the early 2000s as a result of coastal erosion. We were also able to identify sites that are currently being threatened by an encroaching coastline. Our modern erosion rate measurements can potentially be used to predict when a historical site or modern infrastructure will be affected if such erosion rates persist. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

  17. Benthic Gouge Marks in the Canadian Beaufort Sea: Associations Between Whales and Methane Seeps?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smalls, P. T.; Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S.

    2015-12-01

    Numerous distinctive depressions were observed on the seafloor during twenty-eight remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives conducted on the shelf edge and upper slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Surface ship and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) multibeam bathymetric maps were used to identify potential methane seepage sites, such as areas with persistent water column acoustic anomalies and the tops of mud volcanoes. ROV dives were conducted at these sites and at background sites for stratigraphic sampling. The high abundance of these distinctive depressions stimulated an analysis of the video observations made on these ROV dives. Depressions were analyzed to document their characteristics, to help determine their origin, and to establish whether their frequency varies with bottom type. One hundred fifty-two of the depressions observed had shared characteristics consisting of an "oval-shaped" depression with raised ridged edges that extended laterally along the flanks, and traces of uplifted sediment either in or around the depression. Similar depressions have been called "gouge marks" and attributed to bottom feeding beaked whales in previous studies. The size and water depth of the measured depressions matched well with beak sizes and feeding depths of beaked whale species known to exist in this area. This supports the conclusion that beaked whales created the depressions. The occurrence of these gouge marks and the estimates of the total area observed on these ROV dives (~45,000 m2), suggests they are common (e.g., ~4,000 per km2) features on the seafloor in this area of the Arctic. Gouges were also found 2.25 times more often at suspected methane seep-sites when normalized for depth and area. This suggests that the whales are preferentially attracted to seepage sites. While the reason for this possible preferential feeding behavior is unknown, it provides an intriguing avenue for further research.

  18. Importance of the eastern Alaskan Beaufort Sea to feeding bowhead whales, 1985. Final report, June 1985-May 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, W.J.

    1986-05-01

    The two-year project is designed to quantify what proportion of the energy requirements of Western Arctic bowheads is provided by food acquired in the Eastern part of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. The report describes results from Year 1 fieldwork in September and early October 1985. Water masses were studied by boat-based sampling and by airborne and satellite remote sensing. Zooplankton composition, biomass, distribution, patchiness, and energy content were documented by boat-based sampling. The distribution, numbers and activities of bowheads were determined by aerial surveys and behavioral observations. Bowheads probably consume several times more food there in some other years.

  19. A Summary Comparison of Active Acoustic Detections and Visual Observations of Marine Mammals in the Canadian Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Pyć, Cynthia D; Geoffroy, Maxime; Knudsen, Frank R

    2016-01-01

    Fisheries sonar was used to determine the applicability of active acoustic monitoring (AAM) for marine mammal detection in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. During 170 h of simultaneous observation by marine mammal observers and active acoustic observation, 119 Balaena mysticetus (bowheads) and 4 Delphinapterus leucas (belugas) were visually sighted, while 59 acoustic signals of bowheads were detected by AAM operators. Observations and detection of seals were also recorded. Comparative results indicate that commercially available active acoustic systems can detect seals at distances up to 500 m and large baleen whales at distances up to 2 km.

  20. Prediction of drilling site-specific interaction of industrial acoustic stimuli and endangered whales: Beaufort Sea (1985). Final report, July 1985-March 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Miles, P.R.; Malme, C.I.; Shepard, G.W.; Richardson, W.J.; Bird, J.E.

    1986-10-01

    Research was performed during the first year (1985) of the two-year project investigating potential responsiveness of bowhead and gray whales to underwater sounds associated with offshore oil-drilling sites in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. The underwater acoustic environment and sound propagation characteristics of five offshore sites were determined. Estimates of industrial noise levels versus distance from those sites are provided. LGL Ltd. (bowhead) and BBN (gray whale) jointly present zones of responsiveness of these whales to typical underwater sounds (drillship, dredge, tugs, drilling at gravel island). An annotated bibliography regarding the potential effects of offshore industrial noise on bowhead whales in the Beaufort Sea is included.

  1. Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions, Alaska, 1910-2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durner, George M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents data on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 392 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens found in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions between 1910 and 2010 that are archived by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska. A description of data collection methods, biases associated with collection method, primary time periods, and spatial resolution are provided. Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea and nearby regions den on both the sea ice and on land. Standardized VHF surveys and satellite radio telemetry data provide a general understanding of where polar bears have denned in this region over the past 3 decades. Den observations made during other research activities and anecdotal reports from other government agencies, coastal residents, and industry personnel also are reported. Data on past polar bear maternal den locations are provided to inform the public and to provide information for natural resource agencies in planning activities to avoid or minimize interference with polar bear maternity dens.

  2. Rapid coastal erosion on the Beaufort Sea coast: A triple whammy induced by climate change (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, R. S.; Wobus, C. W.; Overeem, I.; Clow, G. D.; Urban, F. E.; Stanton, T. P.

    2009-12-01

    The effects of climate change on landscape evolution can be pronounced in polar regions due to amplification of warming at high latitudes and sensitivity of ice-rich landscapes to warming. Documented coastal erosion rates exceeding 20-30 m/yr suggest that the effects of climate change are already being felt along northern coastlines. We seek to combine direct observational evidence of coastal retreat with relevant environmental information to generate predictive models capable of describing how these erosion processes respond to climate change. We study a section of the Beaufort Sea coastline roughly midway between Point Barrow and Prudhoe Bay. Three-to five-meter high, ice-rich silty bluffs have been eroding at a consistent rate of 15-25 m/yr through two years of direct monitoring. Our onshore data includes time-lapse photography, GPS-located flag lines, meteorological observations, bluff substrate properties, and size distributions of eroded blocks. Offshore, we use models and measurements of sea-ice coverage, bathymetry, sea surface temperature, and wave dynamics. Time-lapse films collected during the summers of 2008 and 2009 indicate that episodic block failure during storm events is superimposed on a slow, steady notching of the base of the ice-rich bluffs, which appears to be driven primarily by melting from relatively warm seawater. Block failure occurs preferentially along ice wedges. Once the blocks have toppled, thermal disintegration by warm nearshore waters occurs within days. The nearshore water responsible for melting the permafrost-rich coastline is very shallow; the local shelf slopes at less than 1 m/km. The water is commonly opaque due to suspended silt: light extinction depth scales of decimeters suggest that solar radiation should be efficiently absorbed in surface waters. Nearshore temperatures display distinct diurnal histories, and are vertically uniform, implying that they are well mixed. Variations in water level are dominated by storm

  3. Methane Seepage From the Arctic Shelf; 20 Years of Research on the Beaufort Sea Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenson, T. D.; Paull, C. K.; Collett, T. S.; Dallimore, S. R.

    2008-12-01

    The U. S. Geological Survey has lead or played major roles in several efforts over the past 20 years to find geochemical evidence for gas hydrate dissociation on the Beaufort Sea shelf, a region of complex and varied geologic features that include: 1) several river deltas entering the Arctic Ocean, the largest of which is the Mackenzie River, 2) submerged continental shelf underlain by permafrost, 3) known petroleum systems of northern Alaska and the Mackenzie River Delta - Canada, 4), submerged pingo-like features (PLF's ) and, 5) pockmark fields. The results of these studies show that gas hydrate is present and that methane source can be both microbial and thermogenic. In light of our rapidly changing climate, the instability and potential methane release from Arctic gas hydrate deposits are reemerging as pivotal uncertainties. On the Alaskan Beaufort Shelf in water depths or about 10 m or less, methane concentrations in seawater are elevated relative to atmosphere. This methane likely originates from microbial degradation of organic matter deposited by rivers or coastal currents, and may be associated with organics in destabilized from recently thawed submerged shelf permafrost. In deeper water, north and west of the Prudhoe Bay area, some exceptionally high bottom water methane concentrations were measured with carbon isotopic signatures very similar (about -46 to -48‰) to gas hydrate sampled from the Mount Elbert 01 gas hydrate test well drilled in 2007 in the same area. This methane is presumably associated with the Prudhoe Bay gas hydrate and petroleum system, and likely from either gas hydrate dissociation or simple gas migration. Gas venting in and around the Mackenzie River delta is associated with offshore Pingo-like features (PLF's) and pockmarks. These PLF's resemble onshore pingos, but with an unknown origin. The region is underlain by an active petroleum system, submerged shelf permaforst, and gas hydrate. Methane concentrations are elevated in

  4. Beaufort Sea deep-water gas hydrate recovery from a seafloor mound in a region of widespread BSR occurrence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Patrick E.; Pohlman, John W.; Lorenson, T.D.; Edwards, Brian D.

    2011-01-01

    Gas hydrate was recovered from the Alaskan Beaufort Sea slope north of Camden Bay in August 2010 during a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy expedition (USCG cruise ID HLY1002) under the direction of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Interpretation of multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection data collected in 1977 by the USGS across the Beaufort Sea continental margin identified a regional bottom simulating reflection (BSR), indicating that a large segment of the Beaufort Sea slope is underlain by gas hydrate. During HLY1002, gas hydrate was sampled by serendipity with a piston core targeting a steep-sided bathymetric high originally thought to be an outcrop of older, exposed strata. The feature cored is an approximately 1100m diameter, 130 m high conical mound, referred to here as the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM), which overlies the crest of a buried anticline in a region of sub-parallel compressional folds beneath the eastern Beaufort outer slope. An MCS profile shows a prominent BSR upslope and downslope from the mound. The absence of a BSR beneath the CSM and occurrence of gas hydrate near the summit indicates that free gas has migrated via deep-rooted thrust faults or by structural focusing up the flanks of the anticline to the seafloor. Gas hydrate recovered from near the CSM summit at a subbottom depth of about 5.7 meters in a water depth of 2538 m was of nodular and vein-filling morphology. Although the hydrate was not preserved, residual gas from the core liner contained >95% methane by volume when corrected for atmospheric contamination. The presence of trace C4+hydrocarbons (<0.1% by volume) confirms at least a minor thermogenic component. Authigenic carbonates and mollusk shells found throughout the core indicate sustained methane-rich fluid advection and possible sediment extrusion contributing to the development of the mound. Blister-like inflation of the seafloor caused by formation and accumulation of shallow hydrate lenses is also a likely factor in CSM

  5. Reflection seismic investigations of the Beaufort Sea margin, Arctic Ocean: Variable history of Quaternary ice-sheet advance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batchelor, Christine; Dowdeswell, Julian; Pietras, Jeffrey

    2013-04-01

    The seismic stratigraphy and sedimentary architecture of the formerly-glaciated Beaufort Sea shelf and adjacent slope are investigated using a comprehensive grid of high-resolution 2-D seismic reflection data collected by ION Geophysical Corporation as part of the BeaufortSPAN East survey. Three cross-shelf troughs, representing locations of former ice streams draining a 1000 km-long section of the Laurentide Ice Sheet are examined; the Mackenzie, Amundsen Gulf and M'Clure Strait systems. These palaeo-ice streams operated during the last, Late Wisconsinan, glacial maximum and a hitherto unknown number of earlier glacial periods. Their dynamics influenced past ice-sheet configuration and may have forced abrupt climate change through transport of ice and freshwater to the Arctic Ocean. The objectives of this work are to constrain the number of ice advances through each trough, to discuss the possible timing of these events, and to examine the impact of Quaternary glaciation on the continental shelf and adjacent slope. The number of cycles of ice-sheet growth and decay varies markedly between the Mackenzie Trough on the western Beaufort Sea margin, with only two recorded events, and the Amundsen Gulf Trough to the east, with at least nine. The Mackenzie Trough was probably occupied by an ice stream during the Late Wisconsinan and either the Illinoian or Early Wisconsinan glaciation. The Amundsen Gulf ice stream was initiated earlier in the Quaternary, suggesting that the onset of cross-shelf glaciation on the eastern Beaufort Sea margin occurred significantly prior to initial glaciation of Mackenzie Trough to the west. Whereas the continental slope beyond the Mackenzie Trough lacks a significant glacial-sedimentary depocentre, major trough-mouth fans (of volumes ~10,000 km³ and ~60,000 km³) are present beyond the Amundsen Gulf and M'Clure Strait, respectively. A number of buried glacigenic landforms, including grounding-zone wedges and lateral moraines, are

  6. A Comparison of Fish and Invertebrate Catch from Two Small Demersal Beam Trawls in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edenfield, L.; Iken, K.; Norcross, B.

    2016-02-01

    Both the US and Canada have conducted multi-year sampling of seafloor fauna in the Beaufort Sea using small demersal beam trawls. During the BOEM US-Canada Transboundary Fish and Lower Trophic Communities program 2012-2014, US researchers collected benthic fish and invertebrates from Pt. Barrow to the Mackenzie River mouth and Canadian scientists collected this information in the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment from the international border to Amundsen Gulf. Here, we compare the resulting benthic invertebrate and fish communities sampled in 2013 using the US 3-m plumb-staff beam trawl with those obtained from the Canadian beam trawl, which had larger mesh. Samples were collected at 42 locations along 6 shelf-to-slope transects (136.7 °W-146.1°W) at depths ranging from 20 to 1000 m near and west of the Mackenzie River outflow with both beam trawls. Differences in standardized catch per unit effort between gears were examined using nonparametric analyses. Based on our findings, catches between the two beam trawls can be considered indistinguishable in terms of the abundance, biomass, and overall community composition captured. Further analysis revealed that depth was a significant factor in catch composition of benthic fauna. There were no significant differences in fish sizes or taxa captured between the gears. Thus, direct comparisons of data collected from both programs can be made. This information improves our ability to examine fish and benthic invertebrate communities across the entire Beaufort Sea from Pt. Barrow in the west to Amundson Gulf in the east by allowing direct comparison between two distinct research programs.

  7. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): Biomarker for an arctic ecosystem health sentinel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirk, Cassandra M.; Amstrup, S.; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, T. M.

    2010-01-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ???5, than lactating adult females ages ???5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel. ?? 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  8. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): biomarker for an Arctic ecosystem health sentinel.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Cassandra M; Amstrup, Steven; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, Todd M

    2010-09-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ≥5, than lactating adult females ages ≥5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel.

  9. Emerging Trends in the Sea State of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-07-06

    j , Peter Guest k , Ted Maksym l , Peter Wadhams m , Chris Fairall n , o , Ola Persson n , o , Martin Doble p , Hans Graber q , Bjoern Lund r ...Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Redding, UK a r t i c l e i n f o Article history: Received 29 September 2015 Revised 18 February 2016...Accepted 29 February 2016 Available online 6 July 2016 Keywords: Sea ice Arctic Ocean Ocean surface waves a b s t r a c t The sea state of the

  10. Contribution of subsurface chlorophyll maxima to primary production in the coastal Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic): A model assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Johannie; Dumont, Dany; Tremblay, Jean-Éric

    2013-11-01

    Previous comprehensive investigations of the Canadian Arctic revealed that subsurface chlorophyll maxima (SCM) are widespread and long-lived structures that can contribute significantly to daily primary production in the water column. However, estimating the annual contribution of SCM to production with in situ or remote-sensing approaches is challenging in the high Arctic. For this reason and to estimate the impacts of fluctuating or changing environmental conditions on SCM, a numerical approach combining a turbulence model and an ecosystem model was implemented for the coastal Beaufort Sea. An ensemble analysis of simulations suggested that SCM contribute 65-90% of total annual primary production and that this proportion is weakly affected by ice regime, winter nitrogen (N) concentration, parameter values determining phytoplankton growth and decay or the physical forcing imposed, all varying within realistic values. Due to the persistent association between the SCM and the shallow nitracline, the pelagic ecosystem of the coastal Beaufort Sea is apparently characterized by a high ratio of new to total production, contrasting with the common assumption that oligotrophic systems are predominantly supported by recycled N and regenerated production. This study demonstrated that the use of a simple model in combination with in situ data leads to novel insights into biogeochemical processes that are otherwise very difficult to measure and track.

  11. Quaternary sedimentation of the Alaskan Beaufort shelf: Influence of regional tectonics, fluctuating sea levels, and glacial sediment sources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dinter, D.A.

    1985-01-01

    The offshore stratigraphy of the Quaternary Gubik Formation of Arctic Alaska has been studied on high-resolution seismic profiles with a maximum sub-seafloor penetration of about 100 m. In general, marine transgressive subunits of the Gubik Formation are wedge-shaped on the shelf, thickening slightly seaward to the shelf break, beyond which they are offset by landslides and slumps. Beneath the eastern third of the Alaskan Beaufort shelf, active folding has created two persistent structural depressions, the Eastern and Western Wedge Terranes, in which the wedge morphology is especially well developed. The youngest transgressive marine wedge, which was deposited in such a way as to fill these depressions, leaving a generally flat present-day shelf surface, is inferred to be late Wisconsin or younger in age because it overlies a prominent disconformity interpreted to have been formed during the late Wisconsin glacial sea-level minimum. The thickness of this youngest wedge, Unit A, locally exceeds 40 m on the outer shelf, yet apparently relict gravel deposits collected from its seabed surface indicate that the depositional rate is presently quite low on the middle and outer shelf. Lithologies of the gravels are exotic to Alaska, but similar to suites exposed in the Canadian Arctic Islands. These observations suggest a depositional scenario in which the retreating Laurentide Ice Sheet shed sediment-laden icebergs from the Canadian Arctic Islands into the Arctic Ocean following the late Wisconsin glacial maximum. These bergs were then rafted westward by the Beaufort Gyre and grounded on the Alaskan shelf by northeasterly prevailing winds. Especially large numbers of bergs accumulated in the wedge terrane embayments-created as sea level rose-and melted there, filling the embayments with their sedimentary cargo. As glacial retreat slowed, depositional rates on the shelf dwindled. This mode of deposition in the Alaskan Beaufort wedge terranes may be typical of early post

  12. Long-distance swimming by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea during years of extensive open water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) depend on sea ice for catching marine mammal prey. Recent sea-ice declines have been linked to reductions in body condition, survival, and population size. Reduced foraging opportunity is hypothesized to be the primary cause of sea-ice-linked declines, but the costs of travel through a deteriorated sea-ice environment also may be a factor. We used movement data from 52 adult female polar bears wearing Global Positioning System (GPS) collars, including some with dependent young, to document long-distance swimming (>50 km) by polar bears in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas. During 6 years (2004-2009), we identified 50 long-distance swims by 20 bears. Swim duration and distance ranged from 0.7 to 9.7 days (mean = 3.4 days) and 53.7 to 687.1 km (mean = 154.2 km), respectively. Frequency of swimming appeared to increase over the course of the study. We show that adult female polar bears and their cubs are capable of swimming long distances during periods when extensive areas of open water are present. However, long-distance swimming appears to have higher energetic demands than moving over sea ice. Our observations suggest long-distance swimming is a behavioral response to declining summer sea-ice conditions.

  13. Slope Edge Deformation and Permafrost Dynamics Along the Arctic Shelf Edge, Beaufort Sea, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S.; Caress, D. W.; Gwiazda, R.; Lundsten, E. M.; Anderson, K.; Riedel, M.; Melling, H.

    2015-12-01

    The shelf of the Canadian Beaufort Sea is underlain by relict offshore permafrost that formed in the long intervals of terrestrial exposure during glacial periods. At the shelf edge the permafrost thins rapidly and also warms. This area has a very distinct morphology that we attribute to both the formation and degradation of ice bearing permafrost. Positive relief features include circular to oval shaped topographic mounds, up to 10 m high and ~50 m in diameter which occur at a density of ~6 per km2. Intermixed are circular topographic depressions up to 20 m deep. This topography was investigated using an autonomous underwater vehicle that provides 1 m horizontal resolution bathymetry and chirp profiles, a remotely operated vehicle to document seafloor textures, and sediment cores to sample pore waters. A consistent down-core freshening at rates of 14 to 96 mM Cl- per meter was found in these pore waters near the shelf edge. Downward extrapolation of these trends indicates water with ≤335 mM Cl- should occur at 2.3 to 22.4 m sub-seafloor depths within this shelf edge deformation band. Pore water with 335 mM Cl- or less freezes at -1.4°C. As bottom water temperatures in this area are persistently (<-1.4°C) cold and ground ice was observed in some core samples, we interpret the volume changes associated with mound formation are in part due to pore water freezing. Thermal models (Taylor et al., 2014) predict brackish water along the shelf edge may be sourced in relict permafrost melting under the adjacent continental shelf. Buoyant brackish water is hypothesized to migrate along the base of the relict permafrost, to emerge at the shelf edge and then refreeze when it encounters the colder seafloor. Expansion generated by the formation of ice-bearing permafrost generates the positive relief mounds and ridges. The associated negative relief features may be related to permafrost dynamics also. Permafrost dynamics may have geohazard implications that are unique to the

  14. Sharing Remote and Local Information for Tracking Spring Breakup in the Mackenzie Delta and Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, D. L.; Whalen, D.; Fraser, P.

    2015-12-01

    The Mackenzie Delta is the second largest on the Arctic Ocean, covering 13 000 km2. The annual flood regime in the delta is dominated by the spring snowmelt freshet and associated ice breakup, as water from the south arrives in the ice-covered delta and spreads over bottomfast and adjacent floating sea ice at the delta front. The complex processes of water-ice interaction, flow partitioning, and overbank flooding to replenish waters in 43 000 delta lakes threaten community, transportation, subsistence, and energy infrastructure in the delta. The annual breakup season is a time of rejuvenation, excitement, and anxiety for delta residents and stakeholders. To track the progress of breakup and meet the need for knowledge dissemination to the local communities, a Mackenzie-Beaufort breakup newsletter has been produced by Natural Resources Canada on a quasi-daily basis during the May-June spring flood season for 10 years, and distributed to an e-mail list that grew to over 300 subscribers. This provides near real-time tracking of water levels and breakup using on-line gauges (Environment Canada), daily MODIS satellite imagery (NASA), Landsat imagery (USGS) and intermittent radar imagery (various sources). In earlier years, information was also supplied from field programs operating in the delta during breakup, but changing priorities and funding have reduced the number of outside researchers present during these critical weeks. Meanwhile the number of local contributors has grown, providing observations and photographs to share with the local, regional and global readership. In this way the newsletter evolved into a two-way communication tool and community portal. The newsletter is a chronicle of each breakup season and a key resource for territorial and municipal managers, subsistence organizations, and emergency response agencies, with routine requests for specific imagery in areas of concern. With the completion of 10 years under the present model, we are exploring

  15. Origin of pingo-like features on the Beaufort Sea shelf and their possible relationship to decomposing methane gas hydrates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paull, C.K.; Ussler, W.; Dallimore, S.R.; Blasco, S.M.; Lorenson, T.D.; Melling, H.; Medioli, B.E.; Nixon, F.M.; McLaughlin, F.A.

    2007-01-01

    The Arctic shelf is currently undergoing dramatic thermal changes caused by the continued warming associated with Holocene sea level rise. During this transgression, comparatively warm waters have flooded over cold permafrost areas of the Arctic Shelf. A thermal pulse of more than 10??C is still propagating down into the submerged sediment and may be decomposing gas hydrate as well as permafrost. A search for gas venting on the Arctic seafloor focused on pingo-like-features (PLFs) on the Beaufort Sea Shelf because they may be a direct consequence of gas hydrate decomposition at depth. Vibracores collected from eight PLFs had systematically elevated methane concentrations. ROV observations revealed streams of methane-rich gas bubbles coming from the crests of PLFs. We offer a scenario of how PLFs may be growing offshore as a result of gas pressure associated with gas hydrate decomposition. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

  16. Sea Ice Floe Distribution in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas Measured by ERS-1 SAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, Benjamin; Rio, Marie-Hne

    1996-01-01

    This study examines the spatial and temporal character of sea ice floe size distribution during summer melt, important variables for understanding the summer heat and mass budgets and the distribution of heat between the vertical and horizontal ice melt. Preliminary results are presented that indicate the gradual decrease in medium size floes (1-5 km diameters) and a fairly steady maintenance of floes smaller than 1 km in diameter over the primary summer months within the central pack ice region. The latter result indicates that smaller floes continue to melt or decay rather than accumulate, indicating the importance of dynamics in affecting ice melt.

  17. Sea Ice Floe Distribution in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas Measured by ERS-1 SAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, Benjamin; Rio, Marie-Hne

    1996-01-01

    This study examines the spatial and temporal character of sea ice floe size distribution during summer melt, important variables for understanding the summer heat and mass budgets and the distribution of heat between the vertical and horizontal ice melt. Preliminary results are presented that indicate the gradual decrease in medium size floes (1-5 km diameters) and a fairly steady maintenance of floes smaller than 1 km in diameter over the primary summer months within the central pack ice region. The latter result indicates that smaller floes continue to melt or decay rather than accumulate, indicating the importance of dynamics in affecting ice melt.

  18. MIZMAS: Modeling the Evolution of Ice Thickness and Floe Size Distributions in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    more synchronous (i.e., more zonally uniform) across the Beaufort Sea. This holds for the Date of ice Retreat (DOR, defined as the final day when...Arctic Ocean circulation patterns revealed by GRACE, J. Climate, 27, 1445-1468, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00013.1, 2014 [published, refereed]. Schmidt, G

  19. Dissolved methane in the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean, 1992-2009; sources and atmospheric flux

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorenson, Thomas D.; Greinert, Jens; Coffin, Richard B.

    2016-01-01

    Methane concentration and isotopic composition was measured in ice-covered and ice-free waters of the Arctic Ocean during eleven surveys spanning the years of 1992-1995 and 2009. During ice-free periods, methane flux from the Beaufort shelf varies from 0.14 to 0.43 mg CH4 m-2 day-1. Maximum fluxes from localized areas of high methane concentration are up to 1.52 mg CH4 m-2 day-1. Seasonal buildup of methane under ice can produce short-term fluxes of methane from the Beaufort shelf that varies from 0.28 to 1.01 to mg CH4 m-2 day-1. Scaled-up estimates of minimum methane flux from the Beaufort Sea and pan-Arctic shelf for both ice-free and ice-covered periods range from 0.02 Tg CH4 yr-1 and 0.30 Tg CH4 yr-1 respectively to maximum fluxes of 0.18 Tg CH4 yr-1 and 2.2 Tg CH4 yr-1 respectively. A methane flux of 0.36 Tg CH4 yr-1from the deep Arctic Ocean was estimated using data from 1993-94. The flux can be as much as 2.35 Tg CH4 yr-1 estimated from maximum methane concentrations and wind speeds of 12 m/s, representing only 0.42% of the annual atmospheric methane budget of ~560 Tg CH4 yr-1. There were no significant changes in methane fluxes during the time period of this study. Microbial methane sources predominate with minor influxes from thermogenic methane offshore Prudhoe Bay and the Mackenzie River delta and may include methane from gas hydrate. Methane oxidation is locally important on the shelf and is a methane sink in the deep Arctic Ocean.

  20. Evidence for Freshwater Discharge at a Gas Hydrate-Bearing Seafloor Mound on the Beaufort Sea Continental Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohlman, J.; Lorenson, T. D.; Hart, P. E.; Ruppel, C. D.; Joseph, C.; Torres, M. E.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    A deep-water (~2.5 km water depth) seafloor mound located ~150 km offshore of the North Slope Alaska, informally named the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM), contains a documented occurrence of gas hydrate; the first from the Beaufort Sea. Gases and porewater extracted from cores taken at the CSM summit several months after core recovery provided surprisingly consistent and outstanding results. Gases migrating into the structure are likely a mixture of primary microbial gas formed by carbonate reduction and secondary microbial gas formed from degraded thermogenic gases, linking the system to deep oil and gas generation (see companion abstract by Lorenson et al.). Pore fluids extracted from the base of the 572 cm-long hydrate-bearing core had chloride values as low as 160 mM, which equates to an ~80% freshwater contribution. Low chloride values, often interpreted as a product of gas hydrate dissociation in hydrate-bearing cores, were coincident with sulfate values in excess of 1 mM and as high as 22 mM (seawater is ~28mM). High sulfate concentrations generally indicate an absence of methane, and, thus, gas hydrate; therefore, an allochthonous source of freshwater is required. Potential sources are clay mineral dehydration, clay membrane filtration and/or a meteoric water influx. Several lines of evidence indicate the Canning Seafloor Mound is connected to either a deep, landward freshwater aquifer or to an unusually fresh oil field brine. First, Na/Cl ratios decrease from marine (~0.86) near the seafloor to distinctly higher values of 1.20 at the bottom of the core. Second, clay dehydration and ion filtration processes have not, to our knowledge, yielded fluids as fresh as measured in these near-seafloor sediments. Third, and most importantly, δ18O-δD systematics of fluid end members are entirely consistent with a meteoric water source and inconsistent with trends expected for either gas hydrate dissociation, smectite to illite clay dewatering or ion filtration

  1. Surface and basal sea ice melt from autonomous buoy arrays during the 2014 sea ice retreat in the Beaufort/Chukchi Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maksym, T. L.; Wilkinson, J.; Hwang, P. B.

    2014-12-01

    As the Arctic continues its transition to a seasonal ice cover, the nature and role of the processes driving sea ice retreat are expected to change. Key questions revolve around how the coupling between dynamics and thermodynamic processes and potential changes in the role of melt ponds contribute to an accelerated seasonal ice retreat. To address these issues, 44 autonomous platforms were deployed in four arrays in the Beaufort Sea in March, 2014, with an additional array deployed in August in the Chukchi Sea to monitor the evolution of ice conditions during the seasonal sea ice retreat. Each "5-dice" array included four or five co-sited ice mass balance buoys (IMB) and wave buoys with digital cameras, and one automatic weather station (AWS) at the array center. The sensors on these buoys, combined with satellite imagery monitoring the large-scale evolution of the ice cover, provide a near-complete history of the processes involved in the seasonal melt of sea ice. We present a preliminary analysis of the contributions of several key processes to the seasonal ice decay. The evolution of surface ponding was observed at several sites with differing ice types and surface morphologies. The records of surface melt and ice thickness demonstrate a key role of ice type in driving the evolution of the ice cover. Analysis of the surface forcing and estimates of solar energy partitioning between the surface and upper ocean is compared to the surface and basal mass balance from the IMBs. The role of ice divergence and deformation in driving sea ice decay - in particular its role in accelerating thermodynamic melt processes - is discussed.

  2. Importance of the eastern Alaskan Beaufort Sea to feeding bowhead whales, 1985-86. Final report, June 1985-August 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, W.J.

    1987-08-01

    The 2-year project was designed to quantify what proportion of the energy requirements of Western Arctic bowheads is provided by food acquired in the eastern part of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. This final report presents the results from fieldwork in September - early October of 1985 and 1986. Water masses were studied by boat-based sampling and remote sensing. Zooplankton composition, biomass, distribution, patchiness and energy content were documented with nets and echosounders (a) over the continental shelf generally, and (b) near feeding bowheads. Whale distribution, numbers and activities were determined by aerial surveys and behavioral observations. Size segregation and residence times were studied by photogrammetry; five bowheads were radio tagged. Analyses of carbon-isotope ratios helped in tracing energy sources for bowheads.

  3. Dose Estimates from Ingestion of Marine and Terrestrial Animals Harvested in the Beaufort Sea and Northwestern Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    W. C. T. Inkret; M. E. Schillaci; D. W. Efurd; M. E. Ennis; M. J. Hameedi; J. M. Inkret; T. H. T. Little; G. Miller

    2000-11-01

    Between 1993 and 1995, marine and terrestrial animal samples were collected from the Beaufort Sea and northwest Alaska. These samples were analyzed at Los Alamos National Laboratory for the presence of the anthropogenic radionuclides, {sup 90}Sr, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239+240}Pu, and {sup 241}Am. The measurement data were combined with food consumption rates based on survey results for populations residing in three northwest Alaskan communities and published age-dependent ingestion dose coefficients to estimate potential radiological impacts from the consumption of traditional animal foods harvested in this region. The results of this study indicate that committed equivalent doses to adults from {sup 90}Sr and {sup 137}Cs, due to consumption of traditional food sources are consistent with currently accepted estimates of average doses to adults in North America due to atmospheric nuclear weapons testing fallout.

  4. Dose Estimates from Ingestion of Marine and Terrestrial Animals Harvested in the Beaufort Sea and Northwestern Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    W. C. T. Inkret; M. E. Schillaci; D. W. Efurd; M. E. Ennis; M. J. Hameedi; J. M. Inkret; T. H. T. Little; G. Miller

    2000-11-01

    Between 1993 and 1995, marine and terrestrial animal samples were collected from the Beaufort Sea and northwest Alaska. These samples were analyzed at Los Alamos National Laboratory for the presence of the anthropogenic radionuclides, {sup 90}Sr, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239+240}Pu, and {sup 241}Am. The measurement data were combined with food consumption rates based on survey results for populations residing in three northwest Alaskan communities and published age-dependent ingestion dose coefficients to estimate potential radiological impacts from the consumption of traditional animal foods harvested in this region. The results of this study indicate that committed equivalent doses to adults from {sup 90}Sr and {sup 137}Cs, due to consumption of traditional food sources are consistent with currently accepted estimates of average doses to adults in North America due to atmospheric nuclear weapons testing fallout.

  5. Decoupled anaerobic oxidation of methane and sulfate reduction within the methanogenic zone of Arctic sediments (Beaufort Sea, Alaska)?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treude, T.; Krause, S.; Hamdan, L.; Schweers, J.; Coffin, R.

    2012-04-01

    Piston cores taken at two stations along a depth transect on the continental margin of the Beaufort Sea (Alaska) revealed an at first sight "classical" sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) with organoclastic sulfate reduction on top, followed by an intermediate zone of anaerobic methane consumption, and a methanogenic zone at the bottom. Surprisingly, however, sulfate did not completely disappear within the methanogenic zone but concentrations remained at levels around 300-500 µM. Further investigations revealed that sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) activity was still detectable and deeply distributed within the methanogenic zone, and that the two processes were probably not coupled. This poster will discuss (1) potential mineralogical sources of sulfur that could support sulfate reduction in the methanogenic zone, (2) potential electron acceptors of AOM, and (3) thermodynamic considerations about the unusual co-presence of sulfate reduction, AOM, and methanogenesis in the very same sediment zone.

  6. Evaluation of the anthropogenic radionuclide concentrations in sediments and fauna collected in the Beaufort Sea and northern Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Efurd, D.W.; Miller, G.G.; Rokop, D.J.

    1997-07-01

    This study was performed to establish a quality controlled data set about the levels of radio nuclide activity in the environment and in selected biota in the U.S. Arctic. Sediment and biota samples were collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Biological Service, and the North Slope Borough`s Department of Wildlife Management to determine the impact of anthropogenic radionuclides in the Arctic. The results summarized in this report are derived from samples collected in northwest Alaska with emphasis on species harvested for subsistence in Barrow, Alaska. Samples were analyzed for the anthropogenic radionuclides {sup 90}Sr, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 238}Pu, {sup 239}Pu, {sup 240}Pu and {sup 241}Am. The naturally occurring radionuclides {sup 40}K, {sup 212}Pb and {sup 214}Pb were also measured. One goal of this study was to determine the amounts of anthropogenic radionuclides present in the Beaufort Sea. Sediment samples were isotopically fingerprinted to determine the sources of radio nuclide activities. Biota samples of subsistence and ecological value were analyzed to search for evidence of bio-accumulation of radionuclides and to determine the radiation exposures associated with subsistence living in northern Alaska. The anthropogenic radio nuclide content of sediments collected in the Beaufort Sea was predominantly the result of the deposition of global fallout. No other sources of anthropogenic radionuclides could be conclusively identified in the sediments. The anthropogenic radio nuclide concentrations in fish, birds and mammals were very low. Assuming that ingestion of food is an important pathway leading to human contact with radioactive contaminants and given the dietary patterns in coastal Arctic communities, it can be surmised that marine food chains are presently not significantly affected.

  7. Using discrete choice modeling to generate resource selection functions for female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durner, George M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Nielson, Ryan M.; McDonald, Trent; Huzurbazar, Snehalata

    2004-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on ice-covered seas to satisfy life history requirements. Modern threats to polar bears include oil spills in the marine environment and changes in ice composition resulting from climate change. Managers need practical models that explain the distribution of bears in order to assess the impacts of these threats. We explored the use of discrete choice models to describe habitat selection by female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea. Using stepwise procedures we generated resource selection models of habitat use. Sea ice characteristics and ocean depths at known polar bear locations were compared to the same features at randomly selected locations. Models generated for each of four seasons confirmed complexities of habitat use by polar bears and their response to numerous factors. Bears preferred shallow water areas where different ice types intersected. Variation among seasons was reflected mainly in differential selection of total ice concentration, ice stages, floe sizes, and their interactions. Distance to the nearest ice interface was a significant term in models for three seasons. Water depth was selected as a significant term in all seasons, possibly reflecting higher productivity in shallow water areas. Preliminary tests indicate seasonal models can predict polar bear distribution based on prior sea ice data.

  8. Shifts in biological productivity inferred from nutrient drawdown in the southern Beaufort Sea (2003-2011) and northern Baffin Bay (1997-2011), Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergeron, Myriam; Tremblay, Jean-Éric

    2014-06-01

    This paper reports the first in situ evidence of change in the net biological productivity of high-latitude western Arctic seas. Estimates of seasonal drawdown for major plant nutrients show that net community production (NCP) shifted differently in two contrasted Canadian oceanographic settings. In the stratified southeast Beaufort Sea, seasonal nitrate consumption increased 1.6-fold between 2003-2004 and 2010-2011. The concomitant thickening of the nitrate-depleted layer in summer/fall implies that subsurface chlorophyll maxima now consume nutrients over a larger extent of the water column. Meanwhile, nitrate consumption in the once productive North Water Polynya declined by 65% and is now nearly on par with the oligotrophic coastal Beaufort Sea. This decline is attributed to freshening and increased stratification. Commensurate changes in silicate and phosphate drawdown in the two regions indicate that diatoms drove the spatial and temporal shifts in NCP.

  9. Atmospheric Profiles, Clouds and the Evolution of Sea Ice Cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas: Atmospheric Observations and Modeling as Part of the Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2017-06-04

    Evolution of Sea Ice Sb. GRANT NUMBER N000 1 4-1 2- 1-0232 Sc. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Sd. PROJECT NUMBER Axel Schweiger Se. TASK NUMBER...Clouds, and the Evolution of Sea Ice Cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas: Atmospheric Observations and Modeling as Part of the Seasonal Ice Zone...concentrations and ocean temperatures. These changes in turn will affect the evolution of the SIZ. An appropriate representation ofthis feedback loop in

  10. Monitoring of Hydrocarbons in Sediment and Biota Related to Oil and Gas Development in Near- and Off-Shore Areas of the Arctic Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durell, G.; Hardin, J.; Libby, S.

    2016-02-01

    There is increasing interest in extracting oil and gas from offshore environments of Alaska. The Arctic Nearshore Impact Monitoring in Development Area (ANIMIDA) project, started in 1999, has been producing information to evaluate potential effects of oil and gas activities in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. ANIMIDA was preceded by the Beaufort Sea Monitoring Program. Monitoring has mostly been in pre-drilling locations, but also during development and production periods. Surveys were conducted to assess bottom sediment, sediment cores, suspended sediment, and biota for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), saturated hydrocarbons, biological and petroleum markers, and geophysical parameters. The concentrations measured in sediments and biota were at or near background throughout most of the Beaufort Sea. There were no significant differences between exploration, production, and background locations, and the concentrations were consistently below those of ecological concern. For instance, TPAH in sediment ranged from below 100 to about 1,000 µg/kg and were controlled primarily by sediment characteristics (e.g., grain size and organic carbon). Hydrocarbons in sediments were from petrogenic, pyrogenic, and biogenic sources. Small areas with indications of input of anthropogenic chemicals were identified by sensitive diagnostic analysis techniques and are possibly associated with historic exploratory drilling and vessels. Sediment cores indicate a uniform historical deposition of hydrocarbons, although some evidence of past drilling activities were observed. Fish, amphipods, and clams contained background levels of hydrocarbons and showed no evidence of effects from accumulation of contaminants; TPAH concentrations were below 100 µg/kg in most biota. Noteworthy interannual fluctuations were observed for PAH concentrations in sediment and biota, likely due to winnowing of sediment fines by large storms and annual variations in river discharges. Significant natural sources

  11. Modeling plankton ecosystem functioning and nitrogen fluxes in the oligotrophic waters of the Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean: a focus on light-driven processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Fouest, V.; Zakardjian, B.; Xie, H.; Raimbault, P.; Joux, F.; Babin, M.

    2013-07-01

    The Arctic Ocean (AO) undergoes profound changes of its physical and biotic environments due to climate change. In some areas of the Beaufort Sea, the stronger haline stratification observed in summer alters the plankton ecosystem structure, functioning and productivity, promoting oligotrophy. A one-dimension (1-D) physical-biological coupled model based on the large multiparametric database of the Malina project in the Beaufort Sea was used (i) to infer the plankton ecosystem functioning and related nitrogen fluxes and (ii) to assess the model sensitivity to key light-driven processes involved in nutrient recycling and phytoplankton growth. The coupled model suggested that ammonium photochemically produced from photosensitive dissolved organic nitrogen (i.e., photoammonification process) was a necessary nitrogen source to achieve the observed levels of microbial biomass and production. Photoammonification directly and indirectly (by stimulating the microbial food web activity) contributed to 70% and 18.5% of the 0-10 m and whole water column, respectively, simulated primary production (respectively 66% and 16% for the bacterial production). The model also suggested that variable carbon to chlorophyll ratios were required to simulate the observed herbivorous versus microbial food web competition and realistic nitrogen fluxes in the Beaufort Sea oligotrophic waters. In face of accelerating Arctic warming, more attention should be paid in the future to the mechanistic processes involved in food webs and functional group competition, nutrient recycling and primary production in poorly productive waters of the AO, as they are expected to expand rapidly.

  12. Change in the Beaufort Sea ecosystem: Diverging trends in body condition and/or production in five marine vertebrate species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harwood, L. A.; Smith, T. G.; George, J. C.; Sandstrom, S. J.; Walkusz, W.; Divoky, G. J.

    2015-08-01

    Studies of the body condition of five marine vertebrate predators in the Beaufort Sea, conducted independently during the past 2-4 decades, suggest each has been affected by biophysical changes in the marine ecosystem. We summarize a temporal trend of increasing body condition in two species (bowhead whale subadults, Arctic char), in both cases influenced by the extent and persistence of annual sea ice. Three other species (ringed seal, beluga, black guillemot chicks), consumers with a dietary preference for Arctic cod, experienced declines in condition, growth and/or production during the same time period. The proximate causes of these observed changes remain unknown, but may reflect an upward trend in secondary productivity, and a concurrent downward trend in the availability of forage fishes, such as the preferred Arctic cod. To further our understanding of these apparent ecosystem shifts, we urge the use of multiple marine vertebrate species in the design of biophysical sampling studies to identify causes of these changes. Continued long-term, standardized monitoring of vertebrate body condition should be paired with concurrent direct (stomach contents) or indirect (isotopes, fatty acids) monitoring of diet, detailed study of movements and seasonal ranges to establish and refine baselines, and identification of critical habitats of the marine vertebrates being monitored. This would be coordinated with biophysical and oceanographic sampling, at spatial and temporal scales, and geographic locations, that are relevant to the home range, critical habitats and prey of the vertebrate indicator species showing changes in condition and related parameters.

  13. Genetic variation, relatedness, and effective population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, M.A.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Talbot, S.L.; Sage, G.K.; Amstrup, K.S.

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are unique among bears in that they are adapted to the Arctic sea ice environment. Genetic data are useful for understanding their evolution and can contribute to management. We assessed parentage and relatedness of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska, with genetic data and field observations of age, sex, and mother-offspring and sibling relationships. Genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci for 226 bears indicate that genetic variation is comparable to other populations of polar bears with mean number of alleles per locus of 7.9 and observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.71. The genetic data verified 60 field-identified mother-offspring pairs and identified 10 additional mother-cub pairs and 48 father-offspring pairs. The entire sample of related and unrelated bears had a mean pairwise relatedness index (rxy) of approximately zero, parent-offspring and siblings had rxy of approximately 0.5, and 5.2% of the samples had rxy values within the range expected for parent-offspring. Effective population size (Ne = 277) and the ratio of Ne to total population size (Ne/N = 0.182) were estimated from the numbers of reproducing males and females. Ne estimates with genetic methods gave variable results. Our results verify and expand field data on reproduction by females and provide new data on reproduction by males and estimates of relatedness and Ne in a polar bear population. ?? The American Genetic Association. 2009. All rights reserved.

  14. Aerial surveys of endangered whales in the Alaskan Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas, 1990. Final report, Oct-Nov 90

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, S.E.; Clarke, J.T.

    1991-06-01

    In keeping with the National Environmental Policy Act (1969), the Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972) and the Endangered Species Act (1973), the OCS Lands Act Amendments (1978) established a management policy that included studies in OCS lease sale areas to ascertain potential environmental impacts of oil and gas development on OCS marine coastal environments. The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is the agency responsible for these studies and for the leasing of submerged Federal lands. The report summarizes the 1990 investigations of the distribution, abundance, migration, behavior and habitat relationships of endangered whales in the Alaskan Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas (hereafter, study area); 1990 was the second of a three year (1989-91) study. The Bering Sea stock of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) was the principal species studied, with incidental sightings of all other marine mammals routinely recorded. The 1990 season was compromised by circumstances that restricted the availability of the survey aircraft (Grumman Goose, model G21G) to the period 26 October - 7 November; opportunistic surveys were flown in the study area from 3-25 October. In 1990, there were 14 sightings of 19 bowheads from 9-29 October; 5 whales, including 2 calves, were seen north of the study area. One gray whale, 110 belukhas and 53 polar bears were also seen. Over nine survey seasons (1982-90), there were 240 sightings of 520 bowhead whales and 148 sightings of 398 gray whales.

  15. Satellite Monitoring of Lead Motion in the Ice Pack of the Beaufort Sea - A Case Study with High Resolution Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denton, A. A.; Graber, H. C.

    2016-02-01

    In September of 2014, the development and evolution of a lead in the ice pack of the Beaufort Sea was observed by TerraSAR-X (TSX) and optical satellites from the Medea Program over the course of five days. The lead opened up amid a cluster of buoys deployed during the ONR Marginal Ice Zone summer ice campaign of that year. We present a high resolution case study tracking the development and drift of this feature, combining SAR, optical, and in-situ measurements as co-validation. Feature-based tracking methods in analysis of five sequential TSX StripMaps (3 m resolution) and 3 coincident optical images (1 m resolution) give motion estimates which are corroborated with buoy motions. Such motion estimates can be used in the calculation of the stresses and strains in the ice pack which are important parameters to sea ice modelers, and are applicable to ship navigation in ice-covered waters. Furthermore, our feature-based case study serves as a comparison to tracking methods used on larger spatial scales, providing insight at a high level of detail into the forces and conditions at play in the evolution and motion of an ice feature in the Arctic.

  16. Philinidae, Laonidae and Philinorbidae (Gastropoda: Cephalaspidea: Philinoidea) from the northeastern Pacific Ocean and the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean).

    PubMed

    Valdés, Ángel; Cadien, Donald B; Gosliner, Terrence M

    2016-08-08

    Based on morphological data a total of nine native species of Philinidae are recognized from the northeastern Pacific including the Bering Sea and the adjacent Arctic Ocean (Beaufort Sea). Four of them have been previously described: Philine ornatissima Yokoyama, 1927, Philine bakeri Dall, 1919, Philine polystrigma (Dall, 1908), and Philine hemphilli Dall, 1919. Five of them are new and described herein: Philine mcleani sp. nov., Philine baxteri sp. nov., Philine malaquiasi sp. nov., Philine wareni sp. nov., and Philine harrisae sp. nov. These species display a substantial degree of variation in internal and external morphological traits (i.e., presence/absence of gizzard plates, different radular structure and tooth morphology, various reproductive anatomical features) and it is likely that they belong to different clades (genera). However, in the absence of a comprehensive phylogeny for Philine, they are here provisionally regarded as Philine sensu lato. In addition to the nine native species, two introduced species: Philine orientalis A. Adams, 1854 and Philine auriformis Suter, 1909 are here illustrated and compared to the native species to facilitate identification. Finally, two species previously considered members of Philinidae are examined anatomically and confirmed as members of Laonidae, Laona californica (Willett, 1944) and Philinorbidae, Philinorbis albus (Mattox, 1958), based on morphological data.

  17. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek, K.A.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Bodenstein, Barbara L.; Beckmen, Kimberlee B.; Durner, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates.

  18. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Atwood, Todd; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek-Huntington, Kathy; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie; Bodenstein, Barbara; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Durner, George

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates.

  19. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek, K.A.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Bodenstein, Barbara L.; Beckmen, Kimberlee B.; Durner, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates.

  20. Distribution and diet of larval and juvenile Arctic cod ( Boreogadus saida) in the shallow Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walkusz, Wojciech; Paulic, Joclyn E.; Williams, William J.; Kwasniewski, Slawomir; Papst, Michael H.

    2011-02-01

    The distribution and diet of larval and juvenile Arctic cod ( Boreogadus saida) were studied during summer 2005 in the coastal Canadian Beaufort Sea. A total of 275 individuals were captured and the highest abundance was observed at station depths of 20-30 m. This corresponds well with the location of the frontal zone where the Mackenzie River plume water and open sea water meet. Diet examinations were performed on 220 Arctic cod, which were found undamaged from sampling. We observed a gradual decrease in prey number per fish and increase in prey size as larvae grew which corresponded to a shift from Rotifera and nauplii towards larger copepodid stages. However, at all sizes, the larvae remain generalists and feed on a broad range of organisms. Environmental changes due to climate warming could have a two-fold impact on fish larvae feeding in the studied region. First, the potential for increased primary production may lead to increased zooplankton production that may impact the feeding and nutrition positively. On the other hand, greater discharge of turbid water from the Mackenzie River may reduce light penetration in the water column that may negatively influence the ability of visual predators to successively forage.

  1. Snailfishes of the Careproctus rastrinus complex (Liparidae): redescriptions of seven species in the North Pacific Ocean region, with the description of a new species from the Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Orr, James Wilder; Kai, Yoshiaki; Nakabo, Tetsuji

    2015-09-16

    Herein we review and recognize as valid all previously described species of the Careproctus rastrinus complex based on morphological evidence, provide diagnoses and descriptions of all species, describe a new species from the Beaufort Sea, and address the misapplication of several names throughout the area. In particular, the name C. rastrinus is restricted to populations of the western Pacific and is known conclusively only from the Sea of Okhotsk. Careproctus acanthodes, from the Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk, and C. pellucidus, from the Pacific Ocean side of northern Japan, are resurrected from synonymy with C. rastrinus. Populations of the eastern Pacific previously routinely identified as C. rastrinus are recognized under two names: C. scottae, a name that is applied to deeper water Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and eastern Pacific populations having a postorbital pore, and Careproctus phasma, applied to shallow water populations of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska lacking a postorbital pore. Although we consider Careproctus spectrum valid, the species has been routinely misidentified and is presently known only from the type series. Careproctus lerikimae is a new species described from the Beaufort Sea, diagnosed from other species of the C. rastrinus complex by the absence of the postorbital pore and higher median fin and vertebral counts.

  2. Toward a Predictive Model of Arctic Coastal Retreat in a Warming Climate, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    local decadal time series of sea ice coverage and sea surface temperature. Sea ice concentrations have been analyzed using Nimbus 7-SMMR /SSM/I and...As a first step we used Nimbus 7-SMMR /SSM/I and DMSP SSMI Passive Microwave data to assess sea ice concentration around the Drew Point coast...Fetch Length at at Drew Point for different stages over the summer season 2008 is reconstructed from Nimbus -7 Passive microwave data, 2008 has open

  3. Benthic Food Webs of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas: Relative Importance of Ultimate Carbon Sources in a Changing Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunton, K. H.; Schonberg, S. V.; Mctigue, N.; Bucolo, P. A.; Connelly, T. L.; McClelland, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    Changes in sea-ice cover, coastal erosion, and freshwater run-off have the potential to greatly influence carbon assimilation pathways and affect trophic structure in benthic communities across the western Arctic. In the Chukchi Sea, variations in the duration and timing of ice cover affect the delivery of ice algae to a relatively shallow (40-50 m) shelf benthos. Although ice algae are known as an important spring carbon subsidy for marine benthic fauna, ice algal contributions may also help initiate productivity of an active microphytobenthos. Recent studies provide clear evidence that the microphytobenthos are photosynthetically active, and have sufficient light and nutrients for in situ growth. The assimilation of benthic diatoms from both sources may explain the 13C enrichment observed in benthic primary consumers throughout the northern Chukchi. On the eastern Beaufort Sea coast, shallow (2-4 m) estuarine lagoon systems receive massive subsidies of terrestrial carbon that is assimilated by a benthic fauna of significant importance to upper trophic level species, but again, distinct 13C enrichment in benthic primary consumers suggests the existence of an uncharacterized food source. Since ice algae are absent, we believe the 13C enrichment in benthic fauna is caused by the assimilation of benthic microalgae, as reflected in seasonally high benthic chlorophyll in spring under replete light and nutrient conditions. Our observations suggest that changes in ice cover, on both temporal and spatial scales, are likely to have significant effects on the magnitude and timing of organic matter delivery to both shelf and nearshore systems, and that locally produced organic matter may become an increasingly important carbon subsidy that affects trophic assimilation and secondary ecosystem productivity.

  4. Habitat use and foraging patterns of molting male Long-tailed Ducks in lagoons of the central Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flint, Paul L.; Reed, John; Deborah Lacroix,; Richard Lanctot,

    2016-01-01

    From mid-July through September, 10 000 to 30 000 Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis) use the lagoon systems of the central Beaufort Sea for remigial molt. Little is known about their foraging behavior and patterns of habitat use during this flightless period. We used radio transmitters to track male Long-tailed Ducks through the molt period from 2000 to 2002 in three lagoons: one adjacent to industrial oil field development and activity and two in areas without industrial activity. We found that an index to time spent foraging generally increased through the molt period. Foraging, habitat use, and home range size showed similar patterns, but those patterns were highly variable among lagoons and across years. Even with continuous daylight during the study period, birds tended to use offshore areas during the day for feeding and roosted in protected nearshore waters at night. We suspect that variability in behaviors associated with foraging, habitat use, and home range size are likely influenced by availability of invertebrate prey. Proximity to oil field activity did not appear to affect foraging behaviors of molting Long-tailed Ducks.

  5. Larval and early juvenile fish distribution and assemblage structure in the Canadian Beaufort Sea during July-August, 2005

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paulic, Joclyn E.; Papst, Michael H.

    2013-11-01

    The distribution and composition of marine larval and early juvenile fish were investigated during a multidisciplinary project conducted in the nearshore Canadian Beaufort Sea in July and August, 2005. Larvae were sampled using replicate bongo net (500 μm) tows within 50 m water depth. A total of 458 larval fish representing seven families were captured.Multivariate statistical analyses revealed two distinct larval assemblages that were closely correlated to water mass category. The two larval fish assemblages were defined as coastal and estuarine. The coastal assemblage was dominated by Pacific Herring (Clupea pallasii) and was found in the shallow intense plume water mass. This area is greatly influenced by the Mackenzie River outflow. The estuarine assemblage was dominated by Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida) and was typically found within the diffuse plume and oceanic water masses. Other larval fish families that were represented in the estuarine assemblage were Cottidae, Stichaeidae, Liparidae and Agonidae. Species richness and abundance was greater along the Toker transect in Kugmallit Bay than the Paktoa transect northwest of Garry Island in the Mackenzie Bay.

  6. Sounds from an oil production island in the Beaufort Sea in summer: characteristics and contribution of vessels.

    PubMed

    Blackwell, Susanna B; Greene, Charles R

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the levels, characteristics, and range dependence of underwater and in-air sounds produced during the open-water seasons of 2000-2003 by the Northstar oil development, located in nearshore waters of the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Specifically, sounds originating at the island itself (from construction, drilling, and oil production activities) were compared with sounds produced by vessels performing island support. Sounds were obtained with boat-based recordings (at distances up to 37 km from Northstar), a cabled hydrophone (distance approximately 450 m), and with autonomous seafloor recorders (distance approximately 22 km). Vessels (crew boat, tugs, self-propelled barges) were the main contributors to the underwater sound field and were often detectable underwater as much as approximately 30 km offshore. Without vessels, broadband island sounds reached background values at 2-4 km. Island sound levels showed more variation (lower min, higher max) during construction than during drilling and production. In-air broadband measurements were not affected by the presence of vessels and reached background values 1-4 km from Northstar. However, one airborne tone (81 Hz) believed to originate at Northstar was still detectable in the spectrum 37 km away.

  7. Mercury concentrations in Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears: variation based on stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Cardona-Marek, Tamara; Knott, Katrina K; Meyer, Benjamin E; O'Hara, Todd M

    2009-07-01

    Total Hg concentration was measured in hair and whole blood of 52 adult Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus) captured in the spring of 2005. Stable isotopic signatures (i.e., 13C/12C, delta13C; 15N/14N, delta15N) in hair and two blood compartments (packed blood cells/clot and serum) were determined to assess the variation of Hg concentrations among polar bears in relation to their feeding ecology and other biological factors. Concentrations of Hg in hair and blood (2.2-23.9 microg/g dry wt and 0.007-0.213 microg/g wet wt, respectively) were within the range of values previously reported for polar bears in Canada and East Greenland. Mercury concentration in hair from females was higher than that in hair from males, and concentration was related to interactions between delta13C, delta15N, and longitude of capture location. Mercury concentrations in hair were inversely correlated to delta13C in hair and blood, suggesting that polar bears with greater total Hg concentrations fed more on pelagic prey, such as ringed seals or beluga whale, than on benthic prey. Variability in Hg concentrations in polar bear hair and blood may be the result of intraspecific or regional variation in prey selection rather than strictly trophic level interactions.

  8. Picophytoplankton and nanophytoplankton abundance and distribution in the southeastern Beaufort Sea (Mackenzie Shelf and Amundsen Gulf) during Fall 2002

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schloss, Irene R.; Nozais, Christian; Mas, Sébastien; van Hardenberg, Bon; Carmack, Eddy; Tremblay, Jean-Éric; Brugel, Sonia; Demers, Serge

    2008-12-01

    The distribution of picophytoplankton (0.2-2 µm) and nanophytoplankton (2-20 µm) in the Beaufort Sea-Mackenzie Shelf and Amundsen Gulf regions during autumn, 2002 is examined relative to their ambient water mass properties (salinity, temperature and nutrients: nitrate + nitrite, phosphate, and silicate) and to the ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence, Fv/Fm. Total phytoplankton and cell abundances (< 20 µm) were mainly correlated with salinity. Significant differences in picophytoplankton cell numbers were found among waters near the mouth of the Mackenzie River, ice melt waters and the underlying halocline water masses of Pacific origin. Picophytoplankton was the most abundant phytoplankton fraction during the autumnal season, probably reflecting low nitrate concentrations (surface waters average ~ 0.65 µM). The ratio Fv/Fm averaged 0.44, indicating that cells were still physiologically active, even though their concentrations were low (max Chl a = 0.9 mg m - 3 ). No significant differences in Fv/Fm were evident in the different water masses, indicating that rate limiting conditions for photosynthesis and growth were uniform across the whole system, which was in a pre-winter stage, and was probably already experiencing light limitation as a result of shortening day lengths.

  9. Depredation of common eider, Somateria mollissima, nests on a central Beaufort Sea barrier island: A case where no one wins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, J.A.; Lacroix, D.L.; Flint, P.L.

    2007-01-01

    Along the central Beaufort Sea, Pacific Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima v-nigra) nest on unvegetated, barrier islands; often near nesting Glaucous Gulls (Larus hyperboreus). Nest-site choice likely reflects a strategy of predator avoidance: nesting on islands to avoid mammalian predators and near territorial gulls to avoid other avian predators. We observed a nesting colony of Common Eiders from first nest initiation through nesting termination on Egg Island near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (2002 - 2003). Resident gulls depredated many eider nests, mostly during initiation. All nests failed when an Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) visited the island and flushed hens from their nests, exposing the eggs to depredation by the fox and gulls (resident and non-resident). Common Eiders actively defended nests from gulls, but not from foxes. Likely all three species (i.e., eiders, gulls, and foxes) ultimately achieved negligible benefit from their nest-site selection or predatory activity: (a) island nesting provided no safety from mammalian predators for eiders or gulls, (b) for Common Eiders, nesting near gulls increased egg loss, (c) for Glaucous Gulls, nesting near colonial eiders may have reduced nest success by attracting the fox, and (d) for Arctic Foxes, the depredation was of questionable value, as most eggs were cached and probably not recoverable (due to damage from fall storms). Thus, the predator-prey interactions we observed appear to be a case where little or no fitness advantage was realized by any of the species involved.

  10. Examining two epifaunal invertebrate communities using functional traits and environmental variables in and around Barrow canyon in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rand, K.; Logerwell, E.; Bluhm, B.; Chenelot, H.; Danielson, S. L.; Iken, K.; Sousa, L.

    2016-02-01

    In the Arctic, benthic invertebrate communities are characterized by high species diversity and overall biomass when compared to corresponding benthic fish communities. Communities can be characterized with respect to their species diversity, biomass and the type of functions performed by the dominant organisms. Invertebrate communities with equally high species diversity may or may not have functionally similar traits. In this study, we examined basic functional traits of the dominant trawl-collected epifaunal invertebrates (e.g. mobility, feeding mode) along with environmental variables (e.g. sediment, salinity) in two high Arctic systems in and around Barrow Canyon; the northwest Chukchi Sea shelf (SHELFZ study, 2012) and the western Beaufort Sea shelf and upper slope (2008). The epifaunal communities are characterized by a large biomass of invertebrates (average of 5,000 kg/km2 in each) and species diversity ranged from 6-75 taxa per station in the Beaufort Sea (158 total) and 26-57 taxa per station in the Chukchi (215 total). These two communities share a commonality in taxonomic families, however, only 45 species occur in both. The top 2 dominant species within each community also differ; the filter-feeding basket star, Gorgonocephalus arcticus, and sea cucumber, Psolus peronii, dominate the offshore SHELFZ survey ( 60% of the biomass) while in the Beaufort Sea survey the primarily deposit feeding brittle star, Ophiura sarsi, and the mobile, predatory crab, Chionoecetes opilio, were the most biomass-prevalent species offshore (52% of the biomass). Oceanographic processes influencing water mass distribution in and around Barrow Canyon contribute to the benthic invertebrate community structure and the spatial variation in dominant functional traits. Finally, results from this study are discussed in the context of Arctic oil and gas development and climate change.

  11. Aerial Surveys of Endangered Whales in the Beaufort, Eastern Chukchi, and Northern Bearing Seas, 1982.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-06-01

    Marine Sciences Branch and personnel from Hubbs- Sea World Research Institute during 1982. The document was approved for publication in 1983. The...Cleve Cowles, Jerry Im. and Tim Sullivan. From Hubbs- Sea World Research Institute, we appreciate the service, much of which was beyond the call of duty...providing excep- tional graphics, Angela Rowley of Hubbs- Sea world Research Institute for [typing numerous drafts, Ron Scheidt of the National Weather

  12. Composition of the summer photosynthetic pico and nanoplankton communities in the Beaufort Sea assessed by T-RFLP and sequences of the 18S rRNA gene from flow cytometry sorted samples

    PubMed Central

    Balzano, Sergio; Marie, Dominique; Gourvil, Priscillia; Vaulot, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    The composition of photosynthetic pico and nanoeukaryotes was investigated in the North East Pacific and the Arctic Ocean with special emphasis on the Beaufort Sea during the MALINA cruise in summer 2009. Photosynthetic populations were sorted using flow cytometry based on their size and pigment fluorescence. Diversity of the sorted photosynthetic eukaryotes was determined using terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and cloning/sequencing of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. Picoplankton was dominated by Mamiellophyceae, a class of small green algae previously included in the prasinophytes: in the North East Pacific, the contribution of an Arctic Micromonas ecotype increased steadily northward becoming the only taxon occurring at most stations throughout the Beaufort Sea. In contrast, nanoplankton was more diverse: North Pacific stations were dominated by Pseudo-nitzschia sp. whereas those in the Beaufort Sea were dominated by two distinct Chaetoceros species as well as by Chrysophyceae, Pelagophyceae and Chrysochromulina spp.. This study confirms the importance of Arctic Micromonas within picoplankton throughout the Beaufort Sea and demonstrates that the photosynthetic picoeukaryote community in the Arctic is much less diverse than at lower latitudes. Moreover, in contrast to what occurs in warmer waters, most of the key pico- and nanoplankton species found in the Beaufort Sea could be successfully established in culture. PMID:22278671

  13. Wind and wave influences on sea ice floe size and leads in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas during the summer-fall transition 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu; Holt, Benjamin; Erick Rogers, W.; Thomson, Jim; Shen, Hayley H.

    2016-02-01

    Sea ice floe size distribution and lead properties in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas are studied in the summer-fall transition 2014 to examine the impact on the sea ice cover from storms and surface waves. Floe size distributions are analyzed from MEDEA, Landsat8, and RADARSAT-2 imagery, with a resolution span of 1-100 m. Landsat8 imagery is also used to identify the orientation and spacing of leads. The study period centers around three large wave events during August-September 2014 identified by SWIFT buoys and WAVEWATCH III® model data. The range of floe sizes from different resolutions provides the overall distribution across a wide range of ice properties and estimated thickness. All cumulative floe size distribution curves show a gradual bending toward shallower slopes for smaller floe sizes. The overall slopes in the cumulative floe size distribution curves from Landsat8 images are lower than, while those from RADARSAT-2 are similar to, previously reported results in the same region and seasonal period. The MEDEA floe size distributions appeared to be sensitive to the passage of storms. Lead orientations, regardless of length, correlate slightly better with the peak wave direction than with the mean wave direction. Their correlation with the geostrophic wind is stronger than with the surface wind. The spacing between shorter leads correlates well with the local incoming surface wavelengths, obtained from the model peak wave frequency. The information derived shows promise for a coordinated multisensor study of storm effects in the Arctic marginal ice zone.

  14. Genetic variation, relatedness, and effective population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Cronin, Matthew A; Amstrup, Steven C; Talbot, Sandra L; Sage, George K; Amstrup, Kristin S

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are unique among bears in that they are adapted to the Arctic sea ice environment. Genetic data are useful for understanding their evolution and can contribute to management. We assessed parentage and relatedness of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska, with genetic data and field observations of age, sex, and mother-offspring and sibling relationships. Genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci for 226 bears indicate that genetic variation is comparable to other populations of polar bears with mean number of alleles per locus of 7.9 and observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.71. The genetic data verified 60 field-identified mother-offspring pairs and identified 10 additional mother-cub pairs and 48 father-offspring pairs. The entire sample of related and unrelated bears had a mean pairwise relatedness index (r(xy)) of approximately zero, parent-offspring and siblings had r(xy) of approximately 0.5, and 5.2% of the samples had r(xy) values within the range expected for parent-offspring. Effective population size (N(e) = 277) and the ratio of N(e) to total population size (N(e)/N = 0.182) were estimated from the numbers of reproducing males and females. N(e) estimates with genetic methods gave variable results. Our results verify and expand field data on reproduction by females and provide new data on reproduction by males and estimates of relatedness and N(e) in a polar bear population.

  15. Seasonal spatial patterns in seabird and marine mammal distribution in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas: Identifying biologically important pelagic areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuletz, Kathy J.; Ferguson, Megan C.; Hurley, Brendan; Gall, Adrian E.; Labunski, Elizabeth A.; Morgan, Tawna C.

    2015-08-01

    The Chukchi and Beaufort seas are undergoing rapid climate change and increased human activity. Conservation efforts for upper trophic level predators such as seabirds and marine mammals require information on species' distributions and identification of important marine areas. Here we describe broad-scale distributions of seabirds and marine mammals. We examined spatial patterns of relative abundance of seabirds and marine mammals in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas during summer (15 June-31 August) and fall (1 September-20 November) from 2007 to 2012. We summarized 49,206 km of shipboard surveys for seabirds and 183,157 km of aerial surveys for marine mammals into a grid of 40-km × 40-km cells. We used Getis-Ord Gi∗ hotspot analysis to test for cells with higher relative abundance than expected when compared to all cells within the study area. We identified cells representing single species and taxonomic group hotspots, cells representing hotspots for multiple species, and cells representing hotspots for both seabirds and marine mammals. The locations of hotspots varied among species but often were located near underwater canyons or over continental shelf features and slopes. Hotspots for seabirds, walrus, and gray whales occurred primarily in the Chukchi Sea. Hotspots for bowhead whales and other pinnipeds (i.e., seals) occurred near Barrow Canyon and along the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope. Hotspots for belugas occurred in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. There were three hotspots shared by both seabirds and marine mammals in summer: off Wainwright in the eastern Chukchi Sea, south of Hanna Shoal, and at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. In fall, the only identified shared hotspot occurred at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. Shared hotspots are characterized by strong fronts caused by upwelling and currents, and these areas can have high densities of euphausiids in summer and fall. Due to the high relative abundance of animals and diversity of taxa

  16. Velocity models and images using full waveform inversion and reverse time migration for the offshore permafrost in the Canadian shelf of Beaufort Sea, Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, S. G.; Hong, J. K.; Jin, Y. K.; Kim, S.; Kim, Y. G.; Dallimore, S.; Riedel, M.; Shin, C.

    2015-12-01

    During Expedition ARA05C (from Aug 26 to Sep 19, 2014) on the Korean icebreaker RV ARAON, the multi-channel seismic (MCS) data were acquired on the outer shelf and slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea to investigate distribution and internal geological structures of the offshore ice-bonded permafrost and gas hydrates, totaling 998 km L-km with 19,962 shots. The MCS data were recorded using a 1500 m long solid-type streamer with 120 channels. Shot and group spacing were 50 m and 12.5 m, respectively. Most MCS survey lines were designed perpendicular and parallel to the strike of the shelf break. Ice-bonded permafrost or ice-bearing sediments are widely distributed under the Beaufort Sea shelf, which have formed during periods of lower sea level when portions of the shelf less than ~100m water depth were an emergent coastal plain exposed to very cold surface. The seismic P-wave velocity is an important geophysical parameter for identifying the distribution of ice-bonded permafrost with high velocity in this area. Recently, full waveform inversion (FWI) and reverse time migration (RTM) are commonly used to delineate detailed seismic velocity information and seismic image of geological structures. FWI is a data fitting procedure based on wave field modeling and numerical analysis to extract quantitative geophysical parameters such as P-, S-wave velocities and density from seismic data. RTM based on 2-way wave equation is a useful technique to construct accurate seismic image with amplitude preserving of field data. In this study, we suggest two-dimensional P-wave velocity model (Figure.1) using the FWI algorithm to delineate the top and bottom boundaries of ice-bonded permafrost in the Canadian shelf of Beaufort Sea. In addition, we construct amplitude preserving migrated seismic image using RTM to interpret the geological history involved with the evolution of permafrost.

  17. Toward a Predictive Model of Arctic Coastal Retreat in a Warming Climate, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    conditions. We used Nimbus 7-SMMR /SSM/I and DMSP SSMI Passive Microwave data to assess sea ice concentration around the Drew Point coast. This...Figure 4. Fetch Length at Drew Point for different stages over the summer season 2008 is reconstructed from Nimbus -7 Passive microwave... cloud events. The air temperatures distinctly lag the insolation pattern, as the presence or absence of sea ice governs the continentality of the

  18. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites in Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) from the Beaufort Sea and associative fish health effects.

    PubMed

    Tomy, Gregg T; Halldorson, Thor; Chernomas, Greg; Bestvater, Lianna; Danegerfield, Kirstin; Ward, Tom; Pleskach, Kerri; Stern, Gary; Atchison, Sheila; Majewski, Andrew; Reist, James D; Palace, Vince P

    2014-10-07

    In 2012, Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) were collected from offshore regions of the Beaufort Sea to determine the concentrations of CYP1A1 phase I metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OH-PAHs) in liver and to correlate measured concentrations with (i) morphometric measurements that are known to be indicative of fish health and, (ii) biochemical end points of health including vitamin A/E and metabolites and hepatic deiodinase activity (DI). Four ring OH-PAHs were detected in 90% of our samples with a mean liver concentration of 1829.2 ± 159.2 ng/g (ww). Total (∑) concentrations of 5/6-membered ring OH-PAHs in liver were smaller [mean of 931.6 ± 104.3 ng/g, (ww)] and detected less frequently (75%) than the 4-ring OH-PAHs. Fish length and liver weight were both negatively correlated to ∑ concentrations of 4-ringed OH-PAHs (p < 0.001). Liver somatic index was also negatively correlated to ∑4-OH-PAHs (p < 0.05) but not for ∑5/6-OH-PAHs (p > 0.1). There was a significant positive relationship between DI and 4-ring OH-PAHs (p < 0.05) in liver, suggesting an induction of this enzyme. No such correlation was observed for the 5/6-ring OH-PAHs. Retinyl palmitate (RP) was the only vitamin that could be measured in liver ranging from 0.230 to 26.3 ug/g (ww). No associations between RP and levels of the 4- or 5/6-ringed OH-PAHs were observed. Continued baseline studies are clearly warranted to further understand effects of OH-PAHs on fish health before planned exploration activities begin in this region.

  19. Relationships between High River Discharge, Upwelling Events, and Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus) Occurrence in the Central Alaskan Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, J.; Okkonen, S. R.; Potter, R. A.

    2016-02-01

    Aerial surveys of bowhead whales have been conducted in September in the central Alaskan Beaufort Sea (144°W-150°W) for several decades. These surveys, co-managed by BOEM and NOAA, have documented bowhead whale distribution that is almost exclusively on the continental shelf, generally from <1 to 70 km from shore. Most whales observed in September are actively migrating and swimming in a westerly direction, with feeding behavior occasionally observed. In September 2014, several hundred bowhead whales were observed feeding on several occasions within a few kilometers of local barrier islands. This is an unusual situation that has been observed in September in only one other year (1997). To investigate local conditions that might be conducive to increased bowhead whale occurrence, freshwater discharge data from the Sagavanirktok and Kuparak rivers, surface wind data, and suspended sediment data obtained from MODIS satellite imagery were analyzed and compared to bowhead whale observations for September 1989-2014. Results indicate that anomalously high freshwater river discharge coupled with prior upwelling events, based on surface winds >5.4 m s-1, may combine to promote the aggregation of bowhead whale prey on the shallow shelf. When these two conditions were met, whales were sighted more frequently, were more likely to be in groups of ≥2 animals, and be closer to shore. Conversely, when either of the two conditions was not met, whales were sighted less frequently, more likely to be single animals, and be farther from shore. These results underscore annual variation during the bowhead whale fall migration and the physical oceanography processes that may be related to whale distribution and behavior.

  20. Current surges and seabed erosion near the shelf break in the Canadian Beaufort Sea: A response to wind and ice motion stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, Alexandre; Osborne, Philip D.; Curtiss, Gregory; Lowings, Malcolm G.

    2016-08-01

    Estimating the erosion potential of seabed sediments and the magnitude of the resulting suspended load in relation to current dynamics near the shelf break is a key issue for better understanding shelf-slope sediment transport. On the outer Mackenzie Shelf (Canadian Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean), a thin and discontinuous veneer of recent surficial clays overlie old glaciomarine sediments that further pinch out at the shelf edge. Gas and fluid venting is known to underlie part of sediment instability in the area, but recent mooring-based measurements also indicate that sediments near the shelf break are recurrently remobilized by strong subsurface currents. Here, we relate storms to the development of current surges that resulted in the abrupt resuspension of sediments at two locations along the shelf break. Near-bottom concentrations of suspended sediments were estimated using the acoustic backscatter of high-frequency acoustic Doppler current profilers deployed from September 2011 to September 2013 as part of the Beaufort Regional Environmental Assessment (BREA) program. Near-bottom currents near the shelf edge (140 to 150 m isobaths) were characterized by recurring episodes of elevated velocities (instantaneous speeds up to ~ 40-50 cm s-1) that were extensions of current surges (~ 60-80 cm s-1) occurring in the core of the shelfbreak jet located at ca. 90-120 m. Sudden peaks in suspended sediments (above 100 g m-3) corresponded closely with current surges in the near-bottom boundary layer (< 10 m) implying the local erosion of surficial sediments and the rapid advection or redeposition of the resuspended sediments. A range of apparent threshold velocities from 18 to 36 cm s-1 was calculated based on the relationship between suspended sediment concentrations and near-bottom current speeds. Two meteorological scenarios were identified to explain the current surges underlying these erosion events at the shelf edge: (1) Pacific or Arctic-born low pressure systems that

  1. Aircraft observations of the evolution of ice surface conditions at the onset of the melt season in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birnbaum, G.; Ehrlich, A.; Schwarz, P.; Lüpkes, C.; Dierking, W.; Hartmann, J.

    2012-12-01

    At the onset of the melt season in the Arctic, the energy exchange between atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean undergoes strong changes. Caused by melting of snow and formation of melt ponds and open leads the areally averaged albedo decreases dramatically and absorption of solar radiation is enhanced. To investigate these changes, the aircraft campaign MELTEX was performed from 11 May to 7 June, 2008 over the Beaufort Sea (region 69°N-74°N, 133°W-144°W). During the campaign, the sea ice cover experienced several episodes with strong on-ice warm-air advection from the Canadian Coast. Between these warm episodes, northerly flow with cold-air advection from the inner Arctic caused an interruption of melting and melt pond evolution and even a temporary refreezing. To quantify the evolution of ice surface conditions, the aircraft POLAR 5 was equipped with a digital reflex camera, broadband radiation sensors, a spectral albedometer with active horizontal stabilization, and further meteorological instruments. Images of seven flights were analyzed by means of a supervised classification employing the maximum likelihood method to derive the areal fraction of different surface classes. Areally averaged broadband and spectral albedo was derived for clear-sky conditions only to allow for a better comparison of values. On 11 May, the ice conditions were still characteristic for late winter. The maximum broadband albedo for snow covered ice was 0.82. On 26 May, already 21,6% of the sea ice surface right north of a coastal polynya consisted of wet ice (19,4%) and shallow melt ponds (2,2%). Broadband albedo measurements indicated an average value of 0.57 for melting snow and bare ice. The most enhanced stage of melting was encountered on 6 June for fast ice in Franklin and Darnley Bay, south of the Amundsen Gulf. The total fraction of melt ponds and particle-laden sea ice amounted to 45,0±16,7% with an average broadband albedo of 0.16. The average albedo of the remaining clean

  2. Dissipation of wind waves by pancake and frazil ice in the autumn Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, W. Erick; Thomson, Jim; Shen, Hayley H.; Doble, Martin J.; Wadhams, Peter; Cheng, Sukun

    2016-11-01

    A model for wind-generated surface gravity waves, WAVEWATCH III®, is used to analyze and interpret buoy measurements of wave spectra. The model is applied to a hindcast of a wave event in sea ice in the western Arctic, 11-14 October 2015, for which extensive buoy and ship-borne measurements were made during a research cruise. The model, which uses a viscoelastic parameterization to represent the impact of sea ice on the waves, is found to have good skill - after calibration of the effective viscosity - for prediction of total energy, but over-predicts dissipation of high frequency energy by the sea ice. This shortcoming motivates detailed analysis of the apparent dissipation rate. A new inversion method is applied to yield, for each buoy spectrum, the inferred dissipation rate as a function of wave frequency. For 102 of the measured wave spectra, visual observations of the sea ice were available from buoy-mounted cameras, and ice categories (primarily for varying forms of pancake and frazil ice) are assigned to each based on the photographs. When comparing the inversion-derived dissipation profiles against the independently derived ice categories, there is remarkable correspondence, with clear sorting of dissipation profiles into groups of similar ice type. These profiles are largely monotonic: they do not exhibit the "roll-over" that has been found at high frequencies in some previous observational studies.

  3. Food habits of Arctic staghorn sculpin (Gymnocanthus tricuspis) and shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) in the northeastern Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Benjamin P.; Norcross, Brenda L.; Beaudreau, Anne H.; Blanchard, Arny L.; Seitz, Andrew C.

    2017-01-01

    Arctic staghorn sculpin (Gymnocanthus tricuspis) and shorthorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus scorpius) belong to Cottidae, the second most abundant fish family in the western Arctic. Although considered important in food webs, little is known about their food habits throughout this region. To address this knowledge gap, we examined and compared the diets of 515 Arctic staghorn sculpin and 422 shorthorn sculpin using stomachs collected over three summers in the northeastern Chukchi Sea (2010-2012) and one summer in the western Beaufort Sea (2011). We used permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) to compare sculpin diets between regions and selected size classes. Differences in mouth morphologies and predator size versus prey size relationships were examined using regression techniques. Arctic staghorn sculpin and shorthorn sculpin diet compositions differed greatly throughout the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Regardless of body size, the smaller-mouthed Arctic staghorn sculpin consumed mostly benthic amphipods and polychaetes, whereas the larger-mouthed shorthorn sculpin shifted from a diet composed of benthic and pelagic macroinvertebrates as smaller individuals to shrimps and fish prey as larger individuals. Within shared habitats, the sculpins appear to partition prey, either by taxa or size, in a manner that suggests no substantial overlap occurs between species. This study increases knowledge of sculpin feeding ecology in the western Arctic and offers regional, quantitative diet information that could support current and future food web modeling efforts.

  4. Atmospheric Profiles, Clouds, and the Evolution of Sea Ice Cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas: Atmospheric Observations and Modeling as Part of the SeasonalIce Zone Reconnaissance Surveys

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    record will more distinctively define the mean states of the synoptic conditions and reduce the ambiguity during classification. Future work will include... conditions in the SIZ affect changes in cloud properties and cover, 2 • develop novel instrumentation including low cost, expendable, air-deployed micro...ice, and ocean in the SIZ of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas (BCSIZ). Seasonally changing surface conditions are expected to provide a present day

  5. Atmospheric Profiles, Clouds, and the Evolution of Sea Ice Cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas Atmospheric Observations and Modeling as Part of the Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    Meric Srokosz, Alex West, Richard Wood, Axel Schweiger (2012), Assessment of Possibility and Impact of Rapid Climate Change in the Arctic Rep., 62 pp, UK MetOffice, Hadley Centre ...Ice Cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas Atmospheric Observations and Modeling as Part of the Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys Axel ...email: axel @apl.washington.edu Ron Lindsay Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington Jinlun Zhang Applied Physics Laboratory

  6. Statistical Aspects of Ice Gouging on the Alaskan Shelf of the Beaufort Sea,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-09-01

    Another characteristic of’ tile d 0 data, whjich 0. t -, arid 0.2-rn s alues, %%ere decleted from the satir - might be anticipated fronm our earlier...Alaska. 1’.S (. oast Ci natii Vadcem% R cpo(t kDR Sea (J.C. Retcd and i F.. Satter. E-ds. . A*rlington. (IA-23, 24 lip. Virginia : irctic institute of North

  7. An oilspill risk analysis for the Beaufort Sea, Alaska (proposed sale 71)outer continental shelf lease area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Samuels, W.B.; Hopkins, Dorothy; Lanfear, K.J.

    1981-01-01

    An oilspill risk analysis was conducted to determine the relative environmental hazards of developing oil in different regions of the Beaufort Sea, Alaska, (Proposed Sale 71) Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease area. The probability of spill occurrences, likely movement of oil slicks, and locations of resources vulnerable to spilled oil were analyzed. The model predicted movement of the center of spill mass and estimated the times between spill occurrence and contact with various resources, to allow a qualitative assessment of oil characteristics at the time of contact; no direct computation was made of weathering and cleanup. The model also assumed that any oil spilled under ice would remain in place, unchanged, until spring breakup. Ice movements, or travel of oil under ice, if occurring, would affect the results in a manner not directly predictable at this time. The combined results of spill occurrence and spill movement predictions yielded estimates of the overall risks associated with development of the proposed lease area. Assuming that oil exists in the lease area (a 99.3-percent chance) it is estimated that the leasing of the tracts proposed for OCS Sale 71 will result in an expected 9.2 oilspills (of 1,000 barrels or larger) over the lease lifetime of 25 years. This estimate is based on historic oilspill accident data for platforms and pipelines on the U.S. OCS (Gulf of Mexico and California). The estimated probability that land will be contacted by one or more oilspills (of 1,000 barrels or larger) that have been at sea less than 30 days (not counting any time trapped under ice) is greater than 99.5 percent. If oilspill accident data for Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, is used in the analysis, it is estimated that 5.6 oilspills (1,000 barrels or larger) will occur over the lease lifetime. The estimated probability that one or more oilspills (1,000 barrels or larger)will occur and contact land is99 percent. The results of a recent experimental cleanup operation for

  8. Annual cycle and spatial trends in fatty acid composition of suspended particulate organic matter across the Beaufort Sea shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, Tara L.; Businski, Tara N.; Deibel, Don; Parrish, Christopher C.; Trela, Piotr

    2016-11-01

    Fatty acid profiles of suspended particulate organic matter (POM) were determined over an annual cycle (September 2003 to August 2004) on the Beaufort Sea shelf, Canadian Arctic. Special emphasis was placed on the nutritional quality of the fatty acid pool available to zooplankton by examining spatial and temporal patterns in the proportions of total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and the essential fatty acids 22:6n-3 (DHA) and 20:5n-3 (EPA). EPA and DHA were the two most abundant PUFA throughout the study period. A log-ratio multivariate (LRA) analysis revealed strong structure in fatty acid profiles related to season and depth. Dominant fatty acids accounting for the observed trend included 18:5n-3, 18:4n-3, 16:1n-7, 20:5n-3, 18:0 and 20:3n-3. We observed a shift in fatty acid profiles from summer to autumn (e.g., from 16:1n-7 and EPA to 18:5n-3 and 18:4n-3) that likely corresponded to a shift in the relative importance of diatoms versus dinoflagellates, prymnesiophytes and/or prasinophytes to the POM pool. Fatty acid composition during winter was dominated by more refractory saturated fatty acids. A surprising finding was the depth and seasonal trend of 20:3n-3, which was higher in winter, aligned with 18:0 in the LRA, but behaved differently than other n-3 PUFA. We interpret fatty acid profiles during summer to be predominantly driven by phytoplankton inputs, whereas fatty acid profiles in winter were dominated by fatty acids that were left over after consumption and/or were generated by heterotrophs. The highest diatom inputs (EPA, the diatom fatty acid marker), n-3/n-6 ratios, and C16 PUFA index were located in an upwelling region off Cape Bathurst. This study is the first annual time series of fatty acid profiles of POM in Arctic seas, expanding our knowledge of the composition of POM throughout the dark season.

  9. Studies of the inner shelf and coastal sedimentation environment of the Beaufort Sea from ERTS-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reimnitz, E. (Principal Investigator); Barnes, P. W.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Northward flowing rivers of Alaska inundate extensive areas of sea ice during spring breakup. This process has been studied under the ERTS-1 program. Drainage of large volumes of fresh water through the ice at holes and cracks (strudel) causes scour depressions, over 4 m deep, and up to 20 m across in the sea floor below. Strudel scours occur within 30 km of river mouths, generally in areas where ERTS-1 imagery shows less potential for drifting ice to scour the bottom than elsewhere. The shapes and distribution patterns of strudel scours correspond with those of strudel seen in the ice canopy. Densities of scours are highest in the inner areas of overlfow. But strudel scours also occur outside of overflow areas mapped during the last several years. These must be very old. One strudel scour investigated by diving is surrounded by a rim, has vertical walls exposing a tundra horizon, and terminates at a gravel layer 4 m below the lagoon floor. Another terminates at a semi-consolidated layer of silty clay. The gravel and silty clay are pre-Holocene deposits. Mixing of Holocene marine with older sediments by vertical strudel flow causes great variability in sediment types over small areas. These observations complicate interpretation of shallow water deposits of cold climates.

  10. Assessing the potential impacts of declining Arctic sea ice cover on the photochemical degradation of dissolved organic matter in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Logvinova, Christie L.; Frey, Karen E.; Mann, Paul J.; Stubbins, Aron; Spencer, Robert G. M.

    2015-11-01

    A warming and shifting climate in the Arctic has led to significant declines in sea ice over the last several decades. Although these changes in sea ice cover are well documented, large uncertainties remain in how associated increases in solar radiation transmitted to the underlying ocean water column will impact heating, biological, and biogeochemical processes in the Arctic Ocean. In this study, six under-ice marine, two ice-free marine, and two ice-free terrestrially influenced water samples were irradiated using a solar simulator for 72 h (representing ~10 days of ambient sunlight) to investigate dissolved organic matter (DOM) dynamics from the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Solar irradiation caused chromophoric DOM (CDOM) light absorption at 254 nm to decrease by 48 to 63%. An overall loss in total DOM fluorescence intensity was also observed at the end of all experiments, and each of six components identified by parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis was shown to be photoreactive in at least one experiment. Fluorescent DOM (FDOM) also indicated that the majority of DOM in under-ice and ice-free marine waters was likely algal-derived. Measurable changes in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were only observed for sites influenced by riverine runoff. Losses of CDOM absorbance at shorter wavelengths suggest that the beneficial UV protection currently received by marine organisms may decline with the increased light transmittance associated with sea ice melt ponding and overall reductions of sea ice. Our FDOM analyses demonstrate that DOM irrespective of source was susceptible to photobleaching. Additionally, our findings suggest that photodegradation of CDOM in under-ice waters is not currently a significant source of carbon dioxide (CO2) (i.e., we did not observe systematic DOC loss). However, increases in primary production and terrestrial freshwater export expected under future climate change scenarios may cause an increase in CDOM quantity and shift in quality

  11. Biogeochemistry of near-bottom suspended particulate matter of the Beaufort Sea shelf (Arctic Ocean): C, N, P, δ 13C and fatty acids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, Tara L.; Deibel, Don; Parrish, Christopher C.

    2012-07-01

    The influence of the Mackenzie River on the source, composition, and distribution of dissolved nutrients and suspended particulate matter (SPM) in near-bottom waters on the Beaufort Sea shelf was determined by measuring particulate organic carbon (POC), particulate nitrogen (PN), particulate phosphorus (PP), elemental ratios (C:N, C:P, N:P), chlorophyll a, bulk δ 13C, and fatty acids. The Mackenzie River had a strong influence on the composition of SPM in near-bottom waters across the entire Canadian Beaufort Sea shelf, including the Amundsen Gulf. This influence was strongest at stations near the river mouth and decreased offshore and northeastward towards the Amundsen Gulf, as seen in SPM elemental concentrations, δ 13C, and terrestrial plant fatty acid markers. Low C:N ratios and high relative levels of odd-numbered carbon and branched-chained fatty acids (bacterial fatty acid markers) indicated that bacteria were an important contributor to organic matter at stations near the river and on the Mackenzie shelf. Fatty acid analysis allowed detection of a phytoplankton sinking event in the Amundsen Gulf in which polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels in near-bottom waters significantly increased from June to July. However, this change in PUFA was not associated with any observed temporal change in chlorophyll a, δ 13C, or C:N ratios. These results show that a multiple biomarker approach is necessary in ecosystem studies of dynamic environments such as near-bottom waters or river-influenced shelves.

  12. The polar bear management agreement for the southern Beaufort Sea: an evaluation of the first ten years of a unique conservation agreement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brower, C.D.; Carpenter, A.; Branigan, M.L.; Calvert, W.; Evans, T.; Fischbach, A.S.; Nagy, J.A.; Schliebe, S.; Stirling, I.

    2002-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea population, distributed from approximately Icy Cape, west of Point Barrow, to Pearce Point, east of Paulatuk in Canada, are harvested by hunters from both countries. In Canada, quotas to control polar bear hunting have been in place, with periodic modifications, since 1968. In Alaska, passage of the United State Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 banned polar bear hunting unless done by Alaska Natives for subsistence. However, the MMPA placed no restrictions on numbers or composition of the subsistence hunt, leaving open the potential for an overharvest with no possible legal management response until the population was declared depleted. Recognizing that as a threat to the conservation of the shared polar bear population, the Inuvialuit Game Council from Canada and the North Slop Borough from Alaska negotiated and signed a user-to-user agreement, the Polar Bear Management Agreement for the Southern Beaufort Sea, in 1988. We reviewed the functioning of the agreement through its first 10 years and concluded that, overall, it has been successful because both the total harvest and the proportion of females in the harvest have been contained within sustainable limits. However, harvest monitoring needs to be improved in Alaska, and awareness of the need to prevent overharvest of females needs to be increased in both countries. This agreement is a useful model for other user-to-user conservation agreements.

  13. Variations in archaeal and bacterial diversity associated with the anaerobic oxidation of methane in the active mud volcanoes of the Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Y. M.; Lee, D. H.; Hwang, K.; Hong, S. G.; Jin, Y. K.

    2016-12-01

    The prokaryotic microorganisms inhabiting Mud Volcanoes (MVs) play an important role for mitigation of methane (CH4) emission. Despite the identification of active MVs in the continental slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea, little is known about the distribution and functions of prokaryotic community in this region. Hence, we investigated the prokaryotic diversity of four sediment cores (three from the active MVs and one from a non-methane influenced reference site) of the Canadian Beaufort Sea using 454-pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes as the first step to understand the prokaryotic roles in controlling outgassing methane. Bacterial and archaeal communities of MVs were distinctive from those of the reference site, and the communities of MVs were similar to each other at deeper depth levels. Chloroflexi, Actinobacteria, unclassified bacterial groups, and MCG_c of Crenarchaeota were predominant in the MVs, while Firmicutes, Deltaproteobacteria, and unclassified class of Thaumarchaeota were dominant in reference site. The relative abundance of dominant bacterial groups varied at sulfate-methane transition zone (SMTZ) of individual MVs. However, certain microbial taxa such as members of SAGMEG_o or Methanosarcinales of Euryarcheaota and Dehalococcoidales of Chloroflexi were predominant at SMTZs. Since they are not the classical representative taxa known to be involved in anaerobic oxidation of methane, their dominance implicates that they could be playing important roles in methane cycling using unrevealed mechanisms. We will further perform the phylogenetic and network analyses to infer mechanisms and interactions of dominant operational taxonomic units in controlling methane flux.

  14. Active seafloor gas vents on the Shelf and upper Slope in Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S. R.; Hughes Clarke, J. E.; Blasco, S.; Taylor, A. E.; Melling, H.; Vagle, S.; Conway, K.; Riedel, M.; Lundsten, E.; Gwiazda, R.

    2012-12-01

    In the Canadian Arctic shelf and upper slope, a thermal disturbance caused by sea level rise at the end of the last glacial period, is still propagating into the subsurface and heating shelf sediments, where submerged terrestrial permafrost and gas hydrate, and marine gas hydrate are believed to occur in close proximity. On-going studies show evidence of gas venting in association with three distinct environments: Pingo-Like-Features (PLF) on the mid-shelf; along the shelf edge near the 100m contour; and ~1 km wide circular topographic features on the upper continental slope. Observations with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) show that methane is venting vigorously over point sources on the PLF's on the mid-shelf, and diffusely along the shelf edge. The stable isotopic composition of methane emanating from these environments indicates a microbial origin for the venting gas. Their negligible radiocarbon content indicates a geological source, as opposed to methangenisis associated with modern sediments. This is consistent with the change in the thermal regime produced by the last transgression. During glacial periods lower sea level exposed the current shelf to frigid sub-aerial temperatures. As a result, some areas of the shelf are underlain by >600m of ice-bonded permafrost with the base of methane hydrate stability at >1000m depths. The marine transgression imposed a change in mean annual surface temperature from -15°C or lower, to mean annual sea bottom temperatures near 0°C. The thermal disturbance is still propagating into the subsurface, stimulating the decomposition of both terrestrial permafrost and gas hydrate at depth and liberating methane. The PLF vents are believed to be sourced from the top of the gas hydrate stability field, while the gas emanating along the shelf edge can be from the decomposition of gas trapped in the permafrost or gas-hydrate underneath the continental shelf. The occurrence of water column flares over the distinctive circular

  15. Multivariate benthic ecosystem functioning in the Arctic - benthic fluxes explained by environmental parameters in the southeastern Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Link, H.; Chaillou, G.; Forest, A.; Piepenburg, D.; Archambault, P.

    2013-09-01

    The effects of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems and their biogeochemical cycles are difficult to predict given the complex physical, biological and chemical interactions among the ecosystem components. We studied benthic biogeochemical fluxes in the Arctic and the influence of short-term (seasonal to annual), long-term (annual to decadal) and other environmental variability on their spatial distribution to provide a baseline for estimates of the impact of future changes. In summer 2009, we measured fluxes of dissolved oxygen, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, soluble reactive phosphate and silicic acid at the sediment-water interface at eight sites in the southeastern Beaufort Sea at water depths from 45 to 580 m. The spatial pattern of the measured benthic boundary fluxes was heterogeneous. Multivariate analysis of flux data showed that no single or reduced combination of fluxes could explain the majority of spatial variation, indicating that oxygen flux is not representative of other nutrient sink-source dynamics. We tested the influence of eight environmental parameters on single benthic fluxes. Short-term environmental parameters (sinking flux of particulate organic carbon above the bottom, sediment surface Chl a) were most important for explaining oxygen, ammonium and nitrate fluxes. Long-term parameters (porosity, surface manganese and iron concentration, bottom water oxygen concentrations) together with δ13Corg signature explained most of the spatial variation in phosphate, nitrate and nitrite fluxes. Variation in pigments at the sediment surface was most important to explain variation in fluxes of silicic acid. In a model including all fluxes synchronously, the overall spatial distribution could be best explained (57%) by the combination of sediment Chl a, phaeopigments, δ13Corg, surficial manganese and bottom water oxygen concentration. We conclude that it is necessary to consider long-term environmental variability along with rapidly ongoing

  16. Multivariate benthic ecosystem functioning in the Arctic - benthic fluxes explained by environmental parameters in the southeastern Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Link, H.; Chaillou, G.; Forest, A.; Piepenburg, D.; Archambault, P.

    2012-11-01

    The effects of climate change on Arctic marine ecosystems and their biogeochemical cycles are difficult to predict given the complex physical, biological and chemical interactions among the ecosystem components. To predict the impact of future changes on benthic biogeochemical fluxes in the Arctic, it is important to understand the influence of short-term (seasonal to annual), long-term (annual to decadal) and other environmental variability on their spatial distribution. In summer 2009, we measured fluxes of dissolved oxygen, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, soluble reactive phosphate and silicic acid at the sediment-water interface at eight sites in the southeastern Beaufort Sea at water depths from 45 to 580 m to address the following question and hypotheses using a statistical approach: (1) What is the spatial variation of benthic boundary fluxes (sink and source)? (2) The classical proxy of benthic activity, oxygen flux, does not determine overall spatial variation in fluxes. (3) A different combination of environmental conditions that vary either on a long-term (decadal) or short-term (seasonal to annual) scale determine each single flux. And (4) A combination of environmental conditions varying on the short and long-term scale drive the overall spatial variation in benthic boundary fluxes. The spatial pattern of the measured benthic boundary fluxes was heterogeneous. Multivariate analysis of flux data showed that no single or reduced combination of fluxes could explain the majority of spatial variation. We tested the influence of eight environmental parameters: sinking flux of particulate organic carbon above the bottom, sediment surface Chl a (both short-term), porosity, surface manganese and iron concentration, bottom water oxygen concentrations (all long-term), phaeopigments (intermediate-term influence) and Δ13Corg (terrestrial influence) on benthic fluxes. Short-term environmental parameters were most important for explaining oxygen, ammonium and nitrate

  17. High rates of bedload transport measured from infilling rate of large strudelscour craters in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, Erk; Kempema, E.W.

    1982-01-01

    Strudel scours are craters as much as 20 m wide and 4 m deep, that are excavated by vertical drainage flow during the yearly spring flooding of vast reaches of fast ice surrounding arctic deltas; they form at a rate of about 2.5 km^-2 yr^-1. Monitoring two such craters in the Beaufort Sea, we found that in relatively unprotected sites they fill in by deposition from bedload in 2 to 3 years. Net westward sediment transport results in sand layers dipping at the angle of repose westward into the strudel-scour crater, whereas the west wall of the crater remains steep to vertical. Initially the crater traps almost all bedload: sand, pebbles, and organic detritus; as infilling progresses, the materials are increasingly winnowed, and bypassing must occur. Over a 20-m-wide sector, an exposed strudel scour trapped 360 m3 of bedload during two seasons; this infilling represents a bedload transport rate of 9 m3 yr^-1 m^-1. This rate should be applicable to a 4.5-km-wide zone with equal exposure and similar or shallower depth. Within this zone, the transport rate is 40,500 m3 yr^-1, similar to estimated longshore transport rates on local barrier beaches. On the basis of the established rate of cut and fill, all the delta-front deposits should consist of strudel-scour fill. Vibracores typically show dipping interbedded sand and lenses of organic material draped over very steep erosional contacts, and an absence of horizontal continuity of strata--criteria that should uniquely identify high-latitude deltaic deposits. Given a 2- to 3-year lifespan, most strudel scours seen in surveys must be old. The same holds true for ice gouges and other depressions not adjusted to summer waves and currents, although these features record events of only the past few years. In view of such high rates of bottom reworking of the shallow shelf, any human activities creating turbidity, such as dredging, would have little effect on the environment. However, huge amounts of transitory material

  18. SAR ice thickness mapping in the Beaufort Sea during autumn 2015 using wave dispersion in pancake ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wadhams, Peter; Aulicino, Giuseppe; Parmiggiani, Flavio

    2017-04-01

    Pancake and frazil ice represent an important component of the Arctic and Antarctic cryosphere, especially in the Marginal Ice Zones. In particular, pancake ice is the result of a freezing process that takes place in turbulent surface conditions, typically associated with wind and wave fields. The retrieval of its thickness by remote sensing is, in general, a very difficult task. This study presents our ongoing work in the EU SPICES project, in which we aim to use the results of theory and observations developed so far in order to refine a processing system for routinely deriving ice thicknesses in frazil-pancake regions of the Arctic and Antarctic. The change in dispersion of ocean waves as they penetrate into pancake icefield is analyzed in order to derive ice thickness estimation. The spectral changes in wave spectra from imagery provided by space-borne SAR systems (mainly Cosmo-SkyMed and Sentinel-1 satellites) is used to retrieve pancake ice thickness run trough by the R/V Sikuliaq research cruise in the Beaufort Sea (October-November 2015). During several experiments, a line of wave buoys was deployed along a pre-declared line, which could thus be covered by simultaneous overhead Cosmo-SkyMed images. The inversion procedures was then applied to SAR images, the final goal being the comparison between the ice thicknesses measured in situ and those inferred from SAR wave number analysis with the application of a viscous theory. Results show a broad agreement between observed thicknesses and those retrieved from the SAR, the latter slightly overestimating the former in several case studies. In the case of November 1, for example, the agreement is excellent (SAR retrievals 4.9, 5.0, 6.5 cm; observed mean 6.7 cm); on October 11 the agreement is also very good between the SAR retriveal (21 cm) and the output from an along-track EM-sounder; on October 23-24 the SAR retrieval of 18.1 cm is double the observed pancake thickness of 8.7 cm, but this difference can be

  19. Studies of the inner shelf and coastal sedimentation environment of the Beaufort Sea from ERTS-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reimnitz, E. (Principal Investigator)

    1972-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Field studies of the initiation of river flow onto the frozen Arctic Ocean were made by a group of scientists from May 15 to June 10, 1972. A time lapse camera mounted on a 40-ft. tower near the mouth of the Kaparuk River, west of Prudhoe Bay, provided a detailed 10-day record (24 hours a day) of flow direction and water level. It is believed that wind build-up, discharge variance of the river, and through-ice drainage rates are the prime factors influencing overflow onto the sea ice. Current meter, transmissometer, temperature, salinity, and thermoprobe data were collected from holes drilled in the shorefast ice from seal holes and from the river water overflow. Depth and a real distribution of the overflow water were monitored from the ice using snowmobiles, and from the air using helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Photographic records were made on 35mm KII, KX, Ektachrome IR, Plus X, and IR black and white film. A simple two camera frame permitted simultaneous exposures of two types of film. Preliminary comparisons of the IR and conventional films, both color and black and white, showed no advantage to using the infrared film. However, the low altitude photography taken during this study will be very helpful in the interpretation of ERTS-1 imagery.

  20. Distribution, abundance and behavior of endangered whales in the Alaskan Chukchi and Western Beaufort Seas, 1991: With a review 1982-91. Final report, September-November 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, S.E.; Clarke, J.T.

    1992-09-01

    The report summarizes the 1991 investigations of the distribution, abundance, migration timing and route, behavior, and habitat relationships of endangered whales in the Alaskan Chukchi and western Beaufort seas (hereafter, study area); 1991 was the third year of a three year (1989-91) study. Data were collected during transect and search surveys flown in a specially modified Grumman Goose (model G21G) aircraft over the study area from 20 September through 7 November. The Bering Sea stock of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) was the principal species studied. Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) were also studied, with incidental sightings of all other marine mammals routinely recorded. Data collected during the 1991 study were subsequently integrated with the results of surveys conducted from 1982-1990. In 1991, there were 27 sightings of 32 bowhead whales and 20 sightings of 26 gray whales in the study area from 20 September through October.

  1. Historical changes in trace metals and hydrocarbons in nearshore sediments, Alaskan Beaufort Sea, prior and subsequent to petroleum-related industrial development: part II. Hydrocarbons.

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, M Indira; Naidu, A Sathy; Blanchard, Arny L; Misra, Debasmita; Kelley, John J

    2013-12-15

    Composition and concentration of hydrocarbons (normal and isoprenoid alkanes, triterpenoids, steranes, and PAHs) in nearshore surface sediments from Elson Lagoon (EL), Colville Delta-Prudhoe Bay (CDPB) and Beaufort Lagoon (BL), Alaskan Beaufort Sea, were assessed for spatio-temporal variability. Principal component analysis of the molecules/biomarkers concentrations delineated CDPB and BL samples into two groups, and cluster analysis identified three station groups in CDPB. Overall there was no geographic distribution pattern in the groups. The diversities between groups and individual samples are attributed to differences in n-alkanes and PAHs contents, which are influenced predominantly by sediment granulometry and sitespecific fluvial input. The predominant hydrocarbon source is biogenic, mainly terrigenous, with hardly any contribution from natural oil seeps, oil drill effluents and/or refined crude. The terrigenous source is corroborated by δ(13)C, δ(15)N, and OC/N of sediment organic matter. Time interval (1976-1977, 1984 and 1997) changes in hydrocarbon compositions and concentrations in CDPB are not significant. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A 50 % increase in the mass of terrestrial particles delivered by the Mackenzie River into the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic Ocean) over the last 10 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doxaran, D.; Devred, E.; Babin, M.

    2015-06-01

    Global warming has a significant impact on the regional scale on the Arctic Ocean and surrounding coastal zones (i.e., Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia). The recent increase in air temperature has resulted in increased precipitation along the drainage basins of Arctic rivers. It has also directly impacted land and seawater temperatures with the consequence of melting permafrost and sea ice. An increase in freshwater discharge by main Arctic rivers has been clearly identified in time series of field observations. The freshwater discharge of the Mackenzie River has increased by 25% since 2003. This may have increased the mobilization and transport of various dissolved and particulate substances, including organic carbon, as well as their export to the ocean. The release from land to the ocean of such organic material, which has been sequestered in a frozen state since the Last Glacial Maximum, may significantly impact the Arctic Ocean carbon cycle as well as marine ecosystems. In this study we use 11 years of ocean color satellite data and field observations collected in 2009 to estimate the mass of terrestrial suspended solids and particulate organic carbon delivered by the Mackenzie River into the Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean). Our results show that during the summer period, the concentration of suspended solids at the river mouth, in the delta zone and in the river plume has increased by 46, 71 and 33%, respectively, since 2003. Combined with the variations observed in the freshwater discharge, this corresponds to a more than 50% increase in the particulate (terrestrial suspended particles and organic carbon) export from the Mackenzie River into the Beaufort Sea.

  3. Co-incident 3D mapping of sea ice surface elevation and ice draft in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doble, M. J.; Forsberg, R.; Haas, C.; Hanson, S.; Hendriks, S.; Martin, T.; Skourup, H.; Wadhams, P.

    2007-12-01

    Co-incident measurements of sea ice freeboard, thickness and draft were made during the Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station (APLIS), in April 2007. The campaign was the first time that full three-dimensional mapping of sea ice freeboard and sea ice draft have been achieved simultaneously. Freeboard was measured across a swath width of 300 m at 1 m spatial resolution, using a laser profilometer flown aboard a Twin Otter aircraft. Ice draft was measured across a swath width of approximately 80 m at 0.5 m spatial resolution, using a Gavia AUV fitted with a GeoAcoustics phase-measuring swath sonar. Ice thickness was also measured along co-incident tracks using a helicopter-borne electromagnetic sounding instrument (HEM bird). The laser profilometer and AUV-mounted sonar rely on the assumption of isostatic balance when deriving ice thickness estimates from the ice surface and underside profiles, while the HEM bird records both surfaces simultaneously and independently, though averaging over a significant footprint (30 m) for the underside of the ice. Though the extent of the APLIS dataset was limited by the radius of AUV operations, the dataset will significantly improve our understanding of ice volume in deformed ice areas, particularly our understanding of the contribution of ridges and rubble fields to total Arctic ice volume, their isostatic balance and questions of block-scale porosity. The data will serve to better constrain the effects of porosity and footprint on the operational HEM measurements and, conversely, the HEM measurements will allow conclusions about the impact of the isostatic balance assumption on ice thickness estimates derived from mapping of one surface.

  4. Ice erosion of a sea-floor knickpoint at the inner edge of the stamukhi zone, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, P.W.; Asbury, J.L.; Rearic, D.M.; Ross, C.R.

    1987-01-01

    In 1981 and 1982, detailed bathymetric and side-scan sonar surveys were made of an area of the sea floor north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to study the changing characteristics of the seabed at the inner boundary of the stamukhi zone, the coast-parallel zone of grounded ice ridges that occurs in water depths between 15 and 50 m in the arctic. The fathograms and sonographs resolved 10-cm features and electronic navigation gave relocations accurate to about 10 m. Year after year an ice boundary develops at the inner edge of the stamukhi zone where major shear and pressure deformation occur in about the same location. Associated with this ice boundary, the bathymetry shows a pronounced break in slope - the knickpoint - on the shelf profile at about 20 m depth. The 2-3 m-high knickpoint is cut in a consolidated gravelly mud of pre-Holocene age. A well-defined gravel and cobble shoal a few meters high usually occurs at the inshore edge of the knickpoint. The sonograph mosaic shows that seaward of the knickpoint, ice gouges saturate the sea floor and are well defined; inshore the gouges are fewer in number and are poorly defined on the records. Few gouges can be traced from the seaward side of the knickpoint across the shoals to the inshore side of the knickpoint. Studies of ice gouging rates in two seabed corridors that cross the stamukhi zone reveal the highest rates of gouging seaward of the knickpoint. We believe that the knickpoint results from ice erosion at the inner boundary of the stamukhi zone. Intensified currents associated with this boundary winnow away fine sediments. Ice bulldozing and currents shape the shoals, which perch atop the knickpoint. The knickpoint helps to limit ice forces on the seabed inshore of the stamukhi zone. ?? 1987.

  5. Alaska: Beaufort Sea

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-15

    ... The MISR map at right was generated using a statistical classification routine (called ISODATA) and analyzed using ice charts from the ... based on interpretation of the SAR image, by the image key. Very smooth ice areas that are predominantly forward scattering are ...

  6. Synoptic evaluation of carbon cycling in Beaufort Sea during summer: contrasting river inputs, ecosystem metabolism and air-sea CO2 fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, A.; Coupel, P.; Else, B.; Nahavandian, S.; Lansard, B.; Raimbault, P.; Papakyriakou, T.; Gratton, Y.; Fortier, L.; Tremblay, J.-É.; Babin, M.

    2013-10-01

    The accelerated decline in Arctic sea ice combined with an ongoing trend toward a more dynamic atmosphere is modifying carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean. A critical issue is to understand how net community production (NCP; the balance between gross primary production and community respiration) responds to changes and modulates air-sea CO2 fluxes. Using data collected as part of the ArcticNet-Malina 2009 expedition in southeastern Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean), we synthesize information on sea ice, wind, river, water column properties, metabolism of the planktonic food web, organic carbon fluxes and pools, as well as air-sea CO2 exchange, with the aim of identifying indices of ecosystem response to environmental changes. Data were analyzed to develop a non-steady-state carbon budget and an assessment of NCP against air-sea CO2 fluxes. The mean atmospheric forcing was a mild upwelling-favorable wind (~5 km h-1) blowing from the N-E and a decaying ice cover (<80% concentration) was observed beyond the shelf, the latter being fully exposed to the atmosphere. We detected some areas where the surface mixed layer was net autotrophic owing to high rates of primary production (PP), but the ecosystem was overall net heterotrophic. The region acted nonetheless as a sink for atmospheric CO2 with a mean uptake rate of -2.0 ± 3.3 mmol C m-2d-1. We attribute this discrepancy to: (1) elevated PP rates (>600 mg C m-2d-1) over the shelf prior to our survey, (2) freshwater dilution by river runoff and ice melt, and (3) the presence of cold surface waters offshore. Only the Mackenzie River delta and localized shelf areas directly affected by upwelling were identified as substantial sources of CO2 to the atmosphere (>10mmol C m-2d-1). Although generally <100 mg C m-2d-1, daily PP rates cumulated to a total PP of ~437.6 × 103 t C, which was roughly twice higher than the organic carbon delivery by river inputs (~241.2 × 103 t C). Subsurface PP represented 37.4% of total PP for the

  7. Synoptic evaluation of carbon cycling in the Beaufort Sea during summer: contrasting river inputs, ecosystem metabolism and air-sea CO2 fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, A.; Coupel, P.; Else, B.; Nahavandian, S.; Lansard, B.; Raimbault, P.; Papakyriakou, T.; Gratton, Y.; Fortier, L.; Tremblay, J.-É.; Babin, M.

    2014-05-01

    The accelerated decline in Arctic sea ice and an ongoing trend toward more energetic atmospheric and oceanic forcings are modifying carbon cycling in the Arctic Ocean. A critical issue is to understand how net community production (NCP; the balance between gross primary production and community respiration) responds to changes and modulates air-sea CO2 fluxes. Using data collected as part of the ArcticNet-Malina 2009 expedition in the southeastern Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean), we synthesize information on sea ice, wind, river, water column properties, metabolism of the planktonic food web, organic carbon fluxes and pools, as well as air-sea CO2 exchange, with the aim of documenting the ecosystem response to environmental changes. Data were analyzed to develop a non-steady-state carbon budget and an assessment of NCP against air-sea CO2 fluxes. During the field campaign, the mean wind field was a mild upwelling-favorable wind (~ 5 km h-1) from the NE. A decaying ice cover (< 80% concentration) was observed beyond the shelf, the latter being fully exposed to the atmosphere. We detected some areas where the surface mixed layer was net autotrophic owing to high rates of primary production (PP), but the ecosystem was overall net heterotrophic. The region acted nonetheless as a sink for atmospheric CO2, with an uptake rate of -2.0 ± 3.3 mmol C m-2 d-1 (mean ± standard deviation associated with spatial variability). We attribute this discrepancy to (1) elevated PP rates (> 600 mg C m-2 d-1) over the shelf prior to our survey, (2) freshwater dilution by river runoff and ice melt, and (3) the presence of cold surface waters offshore. Only the Mackenzie River delta and localized shelf areas directly affected by upwelling were identified as substantial sources of CO2 to the atmosphere (> 10 mmol C m-2 d-1). Daily PP rates were generally < 100 mg C m-2 d-1 and cumulated to a total PP of ~ 437.6 × 103 t C for the region over a 35-day period. This amount was about twice the

  8. SAR Ice Thickness Mapping in the Beaufort Sea Using Wave Dispersion in Pancake Ice-A Case Study with Intensive Ground Truth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wadhams, P.; Aulicino, G.; Parmiggiani, F.; Pignagnoli, L.

    2016-08-01

    Pancake and frazil ice represent an important component of the Arctic and Antarctic cryosphere. In particular, pancake ice is the result of a freezing process that takes place in turbulent surface conditions, typically associated with wind and wave fields. The retrieval of its thickness by remote sensing is, in general, a very difficult task. In this paper the change in dispersion of ocean waves as they penetrate into pancake ice is considered so as to gain insight into ice thickness estimation. The spectral changes in wave spectra from imagery provided by space-borne SAR systems (Cosmo-SkyMed satellites) were used to retrieve pancake ice thickness in conjunction with the Sikuliaq research cruise in the Beaufort Sea during October 2015. Inversion procedures were applied to this aim and results were compared with the rich dataset collected in situ through the use of wave buoys and ice thickness measurements.

  9. Beaufort Sea monitoring program: analysis of trace metals and hydrocarbons from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) activities. Final report, 1983-1986

    SciTech Connect

    Boehm, P.D.; Crecelius, E.; Steinhauer, W.; Steinhauer, M.; Tuckfield, C.

    1986-08-13

    An environmental-monitoring program, designed to detect and quantify long-term changes in sediment and tissue concentrations of metals and hydrocarbons potentially due to oil and gas exploration and development on the U.S. Beaufort Sea continental shelf, was initiated in 1984. In Year-1 of the three-year study, a series of benthic stations was established in the nearshore area between Barter Island and Cape Halkett. In Year-2 of the study, areal coverage of the Study Area was increased to 39 marine stations and 10 shoreline and river stations. Analysis of six replicate sediment samples for trace metals, and saturated and aromatic hydrocarbons revealed a wide range of concentrations. Both trace metal and hydrocarbon analyses of bivalve and crustacean tissues indicated concentrations differences between species but no apparent relationship between animal body burdens and sediment concentrations.

  10. Observations on the behavior of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in the presence of operating seismic exploration vessels in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Ljungblad, D.K.; Wuersig, B.; Swartz, S.L.; Keene, J.M.

    1985-10-01

    The response of bowhead whales to active geophysical vessels was observed during the course of 4 field experiments conducted in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea, September 1984. Conspicuous short-term behavioral changes were observed when active vessels approached to within 10km of bowheads, with the strongest responses occurring when whales were within 5km of active vessels. Behavioral responses included shorter surfacing and dive times, fewer blows per surfacing, and longer blow intervals. Total avoidance responses occured at vessel distances of 1.25km, 7.2km, 3.5km and 3.5km with associated measured sound levels from the seismic airgun arrays of 152dB, 164dB, 178dB and 163dB, respectively.

  11. Bowhead whales in the Beaufort Sea: a summary of their seasonal distribution and activities, and potential disturbance by offshore oil and gas exploration and development

    SciTech Connect

    Fraker, M.A.; Richardson, W.J.

    1980-10-01

    A literature review was conducted to determine the status of information (as of 1980) on bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) behavior, potential sources of industrial disturbance during offshore oil and gas exploration and development, responses of bowheads to such disturbances and to identify data gaps. Approximately 102 references were reviewed in order to meet the goals of the literature summary. The spring and fall migration is described in terms of timing and distribution in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Individual sources of potential disturbance to bowheads due to offshore oil industry activities are described. A general discussion of the response of cetaceans to marine traffic, stationary marine industrial activities and effluents/discharges is presented.

  12. Spatial variability of particle-attached and free-living bacterial diversity in surface waters from the Mackenzie River to the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortega-Retuerta, E.; Joux, F.; Jeffrey, W. H.; Ghiglione, J. F.

    2013-04-01

    We explored the patterns of total and active bacterial community structure in a gradient covering surface waters from the Mackenzie River to the coastal Beaufort Sea in the Canadian Arctic Ocean, with a particular focus on free-living (FL) vs. particle-attached (PA) communities. Capillary electrophoresis-single-strand conformation polymorphism (CE-SSCP) showed significant differences when comparing river, coast and open sea bacterial community structures. In contrast to the river and coastal waters, total (16S rDNA-based) and active (16S rRNA-based) communities in the open sea samples were not significantly different, suggesting that most present bacterial groups were equally active in this area. Additionally, we observed significant differences between PA and FL bacterial community structure in the open sea, but similar structure in the two fractions for coastal and river samples. Direct multivariate statistical analyses showed that total community structure was mainly driven by salinity (a proxy of dissolved organic carbon and chromophoric dissolved organic matter), suspended particles, amino acids and chlorophyll a. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes from selected samples confirmed significant differences between river, coastal and sea samples. The PA fraction was only different (15.7% similarity) from the FL one in the open sea sample. Furthermore, PA samples generally showed higher diversity (Shannon, Simpson and Chao indices) than FL samples. At the class level, Opitutae was most abundant in the PA fraction of the sea sample, followed by Flavobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria, while the FL sea sample was dominated by Alphaproteobacteria. Finally, for the coast and river samples and both PA and FL fractions, Betaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria were dominant. These results highlight the coexistence of particle specialists and generalists and the role of particle quality in structuring bacterial communities in the area. These results may also

  13. Spatial variability of particle-attached and free-living bacterial diversity in surface waters from the Mackenzie River to the Beaufort Sea (Canadian Arctic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortega-Retuerta, E.; Joux, F.; Jeffrey, W. H.; Ghiglione, J.-F.

    2012-12-01

    We explored the patterns of total and active bacterial community structure in a gradient covering surface waters from the Mackenzie River to the coastal Beaufort Sea, Canadian Arctic Ocean, with a particular focus on free-living vs. particle-attached communities. Capillary electrophoresis-single strand conformation polymorphism (CE-SSCP) showed significant differences when comparing river, coast and open sea bacterial community structures. In contrast to the river and coastal waters, total (16S rDNA-based) and active (16S rRNA-based) communities in the open sea samples were not significantly different, suggesting that most present bacterial groups were equally active in this area. Additionally, we observed significant differences between particle-attached (PA) and free-living (FL) bacterial communities in the open sea, but similar structure in the two fractions for coastal and river samples. Direct multivariate statistical analyses showed that total community structure was mainly driven by salinity (proxy of DOC and CDOM), suspended particles, amino acids and chlorophyll a. 16S rRNA genes pyrosequencing of selected samples confirmed these significant differences from river to sea and also between PA and FL fractions only in open sea samples, and PA samples generally showed higher diversity (Shannon, Simpson and Chao indices) than FL samples. At the class level, Opitutae was most abundant in the PA fraction of the sea sample, followed by Flavobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria, while the FL sea sample was dominated by Alphaproteobacteria. Finally, the coast and river samples, both PA and FL fractions, were dominated by Betaproteobacteria, Alphaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria. These results highlight the coexistence of particle specialists and generalists and the role of particle quality in structuring bacterial communities in the area. These results may also serve as a~basis to predict further changes in bacterial communities should climate change lead to further

  14. Regional Upper Ocean Variability and Ocean Heat Losses during the 2015 Autumn Ice-Edge Advance in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as Observed during the Sea State Field Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stammerjohn, S. E.; Rainville, L.; Persson, O. P. G.; Smith, M.; Thomson, J.; Maksym, T.; Ackley, S. F.; Williams, G. D.

    2016-12-01

    Some of the fastest Arctic sea ice changes are happening in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas as indicated by a much earlier (by 49 days over the last 36 years) ice-edge retreat in spring, followed by a much later (by 43 days) ice-edge advance in autumn (based on 1979-2014 satellite observations). The lengthening of the summer open water season and increasing fetch also mean greater upper ocean heat content and a longer, possibly stronger period of wind/wave forcing on the upper ocean and advancing sea ice cover. One of the goals of the Office of Naval Research Sea State and Boundary Layer Physics on the Emerging Arcticprogram is to understand how surface waves and winds affect air-sea-ice interactions and consequently the timing of the autumn ice-edge advance in the emerging Arctic. The Sea State field campaign was conducted aboard NSF's R/V Sikuliaqfrom 4 Oct to 5 Nov 2015. During the campaign we obtained contemporaneous in situ observations of the atmospheric boundary layer, ice cover, wave state and upper ocean along a cruise track in and out of the advancing ice cover in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. An Oceanscience underway Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (uCTD) profiler was used to collect over 4200 upper ocean profiles during both quiescent and stormy conditions in and outside the ice cover. Using the uCTD data we describe the spatial variability in upper ocean structure and heat content within the context of its recent past regarding summer open water duration and wind/wave forcing, as well as regional variability in water mass characteristics. We then describe the contemporaneous air-sea-ice observations, including air-ocean energy fluxes and changes in upper ocean heat content during brief periods of ice-edge advance, loitering and retreat to explain the overall space/time evolution of the ice-edge advance in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas during autumn 2015. Although the lengthening of the summer open water season points to increased exposure to solar

  15. Trophic interactions in the benthic boundary layer of the Beaufort Sea shelf, Arctic Ocean: Combining bulk stable isotope and fatty acid signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, Tara L.; Deibel, Don; Parrish, Christopher C.

    2014-01-01

    The food web structure and diets of 26 taxa of benthic boundary layer (BBL) zooplankton on the Beaufort Sea shelf were studied using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes and fatty acids. Mean δ15N values ranged from 7.3‰ for the amphipod Melita formosa to 14.9‰ for an unidentified polychaete, suggesting that taxa sampled came from three trophic levels. For 8 taxa, the lightest carbon signature occurred near the mouth of the Mackenzie River. Stable isotope ratios helped clarify the origin of signature fatty acids. Levels of certain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) were negatively correlated with δ15N, with the exception of 22:6ω3, which was positively correlated with δ15N, suggesting that this essential PUFA was retained through the food web. Discriminant analysis proved to be a powerful tool, predicting taxa from fatty acid profiles with 99% accuracy, and revealing strong phylogenetic trends in fatty acid profiles. The amphipod Arrhis phyllonyx had higher levels of ω6 PUFA, especially 20:4ω6 with several possible sources, than other peracarid crustaceans. The holothurian had high levels of odd numbered and branched chain fatty acids, indicative of bacterial consumption, while fatty acids of phytoplankton origin were important discriminants for Calanus hyperboreus and the chaetognaths Eukrohnia hamata and Parasagitta elegans. This relationship indicates that the conventional phytoplankton-copepod-chaetognath food web found in the water column also exists in the BBL. This observation, as well as generally low δ15N and high levels of certain PUFA in samples with lower δ15N, strongly suggests that BBL zooplankton on the Beaufort Sea shelf have access to fresh material of phytoplankton origin either by feeding on sedimenting matter or by active migration to surface waters.

  16. Holocene dynamics in the Bering Strait inflow to the Arctic and the Beaufort Gyre circulation based on sedimentary records from the Chukchi Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Masanobu; Nam, Seung-Il; Polyak, Leonid; Kobayashi, Daisuke; Suzuki, Kenta; Irino, Tomohisa; Shimada, Koji

    2017-09-01

    The Beaufort Gyre (BG) and the Bering Strait inflow (BSI) are important elements of the Arctic Ocean circulation system and major controls on the distribution of Arctic sea ice. We report records of the quartz / feldspar and chlorite / illite ratios in three sediment cores from the northern Chukchi Sea, providing insights into the long-term dynamics of the BG circulation and the BSI during the Holocene. The quartz / feldspar ratio, interpreted as a proxy of the BG strength, gradually decreased during the Holocene, suggesting a long-term decline in the BG strength, consistent with an orbitally controlled decrease in summer insolation. We propose that the BG rotation weakened as a result of the increasing stability of sea-ice cover at the margins of the Canada Basin, driven by decreasing insolation. Millennial to multi-centennial variability in the quartz / feldspar ratio (the BG circulation) is consistent with fluctuations in solar irradiance, suggesting that solar activity affected the BG strength on these timescales. The BSI approximation by the chlorite / illite record, despite a considerable geographic variability, consistently shows intensified flow from the Bering Sea to the Arctic during the middle Holocene, which is attributed primarily to the effect of higher atmospheric pressure over the Aleutian Basin. The intensified BSI was associated with decrease in sea-ice concentrations and increase in marine production, as indicated by biomarker concentrations, suggesting a major influence of the BSI on sea-ice and biological conditions in the Chukchi Sea. Multi-century to millennial fluctuations, presumably controlled by solar activity, were also identified in a proxy-based BSI record characterized by the highest age resolution.

  17. The relationship between sea ice concentration and the spatio-temporal distribution of vocalizing bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas from 2008 to 2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacIntyre, Kalyn Q.; Stafford, Kathleen M.; Conn, Paul B.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Boveng, Peter L.

    2015-08-01

    Bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) are widely distributed in the Arctic and sub-Arctic; the Beringia population is found throughout the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas (BCB). Bearded seals are highly vocal, using underwater calls to advertise their breeding condition and maintain aquatic territories. They are also closely associated with pack ice for reproductive activities, molting, and resting. Sea ice habitat for this species varies spatially and temporally throughout the year due to differences in underlying physical and oceanographic features across its range. To test the hypothesis that the vocal activity of bearded seals is related to variations in sea ice, passive acoustic data were collected from nine locations throughout the BCB from 2008 to 2011. Recording instruments sampled on varying duty cycles ranging from 20% to 100% of each hour, and recorded frequencies up to 8192 Hz. Spectrograms of acoustic data were analyzed manually to calculate the daily proportion of hours with bearded seal calls at each sampling location, and these call activity proportions were correlated with daily satellite-derived estimates of sea ice concentration. Bearded seals were vocally active nearly year-round in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas with peak activity occurring from mid-March to late June during the mating season. The duration of call activity in the Bering Sea was shorter, lasting typically only five months, and peaked from mid-March to May at the northernmost recorders. In all areas, call activity was significantly correlated with higher sea ice concentrations (p < 0.01). These results suggest that losses in ice cover may negatively impact bearded seals, not just by loss of habitat but also by altering the behavioral ecology of the BCB population.

  18. Seasonal trends in the abundance, composition and bioavailability of particulate and dissolved organic matter in the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and western Canada Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Jenny; Benner, Ronald

    2005-12-01

    The objectives of this study were to investigate the seasonality, abundance, sources and bioreactivity of organic matter in the water column of the western Arctic Ocean. The concentrations of particulate and dissolved amino acids and amino sugars, as well as bulk properties of particulate and dissolved organic matter (DOM), were measured in shelf, slope and basin waters collected during the spring and summer of 2002. Particulate organic matter concentrations in shelf waters increased by a factor of 10 between spring and summer. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) concentrations exhibited only minor seasonal variations, whereas dissolved amino acid concentrations doubled between spring and summer, and dissolved amino sugars increased by 31% in shelf waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Concentrations of DOC did not exhibit a significant seasonal change in surface waters of the Canada Basin, but dissolved amino acid concentrations increased by 45% between spring and summer. No significant seasonal differences were detected in the concentration or composition of DOM in waters below 100 m in depth. Concentrations of particulate and dissolved amino acids and amino sugars were strongly correlated with chlorophyll- a, indicating a plankton source of freshly produced organic matter. The amino acid and amino sugar compositions of freshly produced DOM indicated that a large portion of this material is bioavailable. While freshly produced DOM was found to be relatively bioreactive, preformed DOM in the Arctic appears to be less bioreactive but similar in degradation state to average DOM in the Atlantic and Pacific. These data demonstrate substantial summer production of POM and DOM on the Chukchi and Beaufort shelves that is available for utilization in shelf waters and export to the Canada Basin.

  19. Seasonal and regional patterns in egg production of Calanus glacialis/marshallae in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas during spring and summer, 2002

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plourde, Stéphane; Campbell, Robert G.; Ashjian, Carin J.; Stockwell, Dean A.

    2005-12-01

    Understanding the physical and biogeochemical processes that control the exchange of biogenic carbon within and between the arctic shelves, slopes, and deep basins is a key objective of the Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interaction program (SBI). Here, egg production (EP) of the dominant copepod Calanus glacialis/marshallae was used as an indicator of food limitation for the mesozooplankton community in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in spring and summer, 2002. Both C. glacialis and C. marshallae may occur in this region but the two cannot easily be differentiated visually. Four oceanographic regions were objectively identified that roughly corresponded to the different pathways in circulation of nutrient-rich Pacific water. A 'transition' region characterized by 'older' Pacific water was located at the shelfbreak and separated the nutrient-rich shelf water and the low-nutrient waters of the deep basin. The observed spatial pattern in EP in C. glacialis/marshallae in spring and summer resulted both from the different water mass environments and from the reproductive cycle of the species. EP was greater on the shelf than in the basin, corresponding to differences in body size and nitrogen condition factor (NCF) in females, while the egg viability was generally high throughout the study area. EP showed no relationship with low-chlorophyll a biomass under heavy ice-cover in spring, while a significant relationship was observed in the more open water in summer. Adult female carbon condition factor (CCF) was much higher in summer, reflecting the accumulation of lipids during the growth season. Small animals with a markedly greater NCF dominated on the shelf. The shelfbreak region contained a mixture of females from the shelf and the basin with intermediate sizes, conditions, and EP rates. The occurrence of water typical of the 'transition' shelfbreak region and elevated EP in C. glacialis/marshallae offshore on the Barrow Canyon and East Barrow sections indicated offshore

  20. Long-term changes of mercury levels in ringed seal (Phoca hispida) from Amundsen Gulf, and beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) from the Beaufort Sea, western Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Outridge, P M; Hobson, K A; Savelle, J

    2009-11-15

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined in the canine teeth of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) harvested during the 13th-14th, late 19th and early 21st Centuries in Amundsen Gulf, Northwest Territories, Canada. Most historical and pre-industrial teeth contained undetectable Hg levels (i.e. <1.0 ng/g DW), whereas samples from 2001-03 contained up to 12 ng/g DW in an age-dependent pattern. Assuming a median [Hg] value in 13th-14th Century teeth of half the detection limit (i.e. 0.5 ng/g DW), geometric means of Hg in modern teeth were 9-17 times those of seals in the 14th Century, equivalent to an anthropogenic input of 89-94% of total Hg in modern seals. These results corroborate a previous study of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) in the nearby Beaufort Sea. While the seals' trophic position (inferred from delta(15)N values) did not change over time, modern delta(13)C values were lower by about 2 per thousand than in the 14th and 19th Centuries. This could be due to increased dissolution of anthropogenically derived CO(2) in the ocean from the atmosphere, but could also indicate more offshore pelagic feeding by modern seals, which might be a factor in their Hg exposure. New tooth [Hg] data are also presented for the Beaufort Sea beluga, using recently-discovered museum samples collected in 1960/61, which showed that most of the anthropogenic contribution to beluga Hg had already taken effect by 1960 (reaching approximately 75% of total Hg). Taken together, the long-term seal and beluga data indicate that whereas Hg levels in the marine ecosystems of the western Canadian Arctic were probably unchanged from pre-industrial times up to the late 19th Century, there was a significant, many-fold increase in the early to mid-20th Century, but little or no change after about the early 1960s.

  1. Direct Observations of Heat and Salt Entrainment Fluxes Across the Base of the Ocean Mixing Layer Under Marginal Ice Conditions in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallaher, S.; Stanton, T. P.; Shaw, W. J.

    2014-12-01

    Measurements of turbulent fluxes of heat and salt across the base of the upper ocean mixed layer in summer marginal ice zone conditions in the Beaufort Sea were made using two eddy-correlation flux sensors with a vertical separation of 6m mounted on a depth-controlled frame. A third flux sensor measured fluxes 2m below the ice. A 16 element thermistor string measured finescale thermal gradients while a high resolution ADCP measured current profiles every 20cm across the frame to resolve finescale shear. Every hour the frame was profiled between 2m and 60m depth then re-positioned to span the base of the active mixing layer, determined primarily from the density profile, allowing the surface mixed layer entrainment fluxes to be determined. A range of wind conditions allowed mixed layer entrainment fluxes to be compared with several bulk entrainment formulations based on surface friction velocity values and the density jump across the base of the surface mixing layer.

  2. Sulfate reduction and methane oxidation activity below the sulfate-methane transition zone in Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin sediments: Implications for deep sulfur cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treude, Tina; Krause, Stefan; Maltby, Johanna; Dale, Andrew W.; Coffin, Richard; Hamdan, Leila J.

    2014-11-01

    Two ∼6 m long sediment cores were collected along the ∼300 m isobath on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea continental margin. Both cores showed distinct sulfate-methane transition zones (SMTZ) at 105 and 120 cm below seafloor (cmbsf). Sulfate was not completely depleted below the SMTZ but remained between 30 and 500 μM. Sulfate reduction and anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) determined by radiotracer incubations were active throughout the methanogenic zone. Although a mass balance could not explain the source of sulfate below the SMTZ, geochemical profiles and correlation network analyses of biotic and abiotic data suggest a cryptic sulfur cycle involving iron, manganese and barite. Inhibition experiments with molybdate and 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) indicated decoupling of sulfate reduction and AOM and competition between sulfate reducers and methanogens for substrates. While correlation network analyses predicted coupling of AOM to iron reduction, the addition of manganese or iron did not stimulate AOM. Since none of the classical archaeal anaerobic methanotrophs (ANME) were abundant, the involvement of unknown or unconventional phylotypes in AOM is conceivable. The resistance of AOM activity to inhibitors implies deviation from conventional enzymatic pathways. This work suggests that the classical redox cascade of electron acceptor utilization based on Gibbs energy yields does not always hold in diffusion-dominated systems, and instead biotic processes may be more strongly coupled to mineralogy.

  3. An evaluation of the science needs to inform decisions on Outer Continental Shelf energy development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Pierce, Brenda

    2011-01-01

    On March 31, 2010, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a national strategy for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas development. In that announcement, the Administration outlined a three-pronged approach (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2010a): Development: "...expand development and production throughout the Gulf of Mexico, including resource-rich areas of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico..." Exploration: "...expand oil and gas exploration in frontier areas, such as the Arctic Ocean and areas in the Atlantic Ocean, to gather the information necessary to develop resources in the right places and the right ways." Conservation: "...calls for the protection of special areas like Bristol Bay in Alaska...national treasure[s] that we must protect for future generations." In a companion announcement (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2010b), within the Administration's "Exploration" component, the Secretary asked the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to conduct an initial, independent evaluation of the science needs that would inform the Administration's consideration of the right places and the right ways in which to develop oil and gas resources in the Arctic OCS, particularly focused on the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (fig. 1).

  4. UV/PAR radiations and DOM properties in surface coastal waters of the Canadian shelf of the Beaufort Sea during summer 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Para, J.; Charrière, B.; Matsuoka, A.; Miller, W. L.; Rontani, J. F.; Sempéré, R.

    2012-11-01

    Water masses from the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean were evaluated for dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and optical characteristics including UV and PAR diffuse attenuation (Kd), and chromophoric and fluorescent dissolved organic matter (CDOM and FDOM) as part of the MALINA field campaign (30 July to 27 August). Even with relatively low mean daily solar radiation incident on the sea surface (0.12 ± 0.03, 8.46 ± 1.64 and 18.09 ± 4.20 kJ m-2 for UV-B (305 nm), UV-A (380 nm) and PAR, respectively), we report significant light penetration with 10% irradiance depths (Z10% (λ)) reaching 9.5 m for 340 nm (UV-A) radiation in the Eastern sector and 4.5 m in the Mackenzie River influenced area (Western sector). Spectral absorption coefficients (aCDOM (350 nm) (m-1)) were significantly correlated to both diffuse attenuation coefficients (Kd) in the UV-A and UV-B and to DOC concentrations. This indicates CDOM as the dominant attenuator of UV solar radiation and suggests its use as an optical proxy for DOC concentrations in this region. Extrapolating CDOM to DOC relationships, we estimate that ~ 16% of the DOC in the Mackenzie River does not absorb radiation at 350 nm. DOC and CDOM discharges by the Mackenzie River during the MALINA Cruise are estimated as ~ 0.22 TgC and 0.18 TgC, respectively. Three dissolved fluorescent components (C1-C3) were identified by fluorescence Excitation/Emission Matrix Spectroscopy (EEMS) and PARAFAC analysis. Our results showed an in-situ biological component (C1) that co-dominated with a terrestrial humic-like component (C2) in the Mackenzie Delta sector, whereas the protein-like (C3) component dominated in the saltiest waters of the North East sector.

  5. An evaluation of the science needs to inform decisions on Outer Continental Shelf energy development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holland-Bartels, Leslie; Pierce, Brenda

    2011-01-01

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) was asked to conduct an initial, independent evaluation of the science needs that would inform the Administration's consideration of the right places and the right ways in which to develop oil and gas resources in the Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), particularly focused on the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Oil and gas potential is significant in Arctic Alaska. Beyond petroleum potential, this region supports unique fish and wildlife resources and ecosystems, and indigenous people who rely on these resources for subsistence. This report summarizes key existing scientific information and provides initial guidance of what new and (or) continued research could inform decision making. This report is presented in a series of topical chapters and various appendixes each written by a subset of the USGS OCS Team based on their areas of expertise. Three chapters (Chapters 2, 3, and 4) provide foundational information on geology; ecology and subsistence; and climate settings important to understanding the conditions pertinent to development in the Arctic OCS. These chapters are followed by three chapters that examine the scientific understanding, science gaps, and science sufficiency questions regarding oil-spill risk, response, and impact (Chapter 5), marine mammals and anthropogenic noise (Chapter 6), and cumulative impacts (Chapter 7). Lessons learned from the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill are included to identify valuable "pre-positioned" science and scientific approaches to improved response and reduced uncertainty in damage assessment and restoration efforts (appendix D). An appendix on Structured Decision Making (appendix C) is included to illustrate the value of such tools that go beyond, but incorporate, science in looking at what can/should be done about policy and implementation of Arctic development. The report provides a series of findings and recommendations for consideration developed during the independent examination of

  6. Distribution, Abundance, Behavior, and Bioacoustics of Endangered Whales in the Western Beaufort and Northeastern Chukchi Seas, 1979-87

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-07-01

    water lead systems that annually develop relatively nearshore in the Chukchi Sea , but offshore and well north of oil exploration activities in...seen in September. Walrus were most often seen swimming in open water and resting in light ice (0-30%; 40%, n = 883) or hauled out in heavy ice (36...little broken floe ice was available to haul out on and the ice edge was far to the north (see figure 21). Overall,

  7. Megafauna recovered from a cold hydrocarbon seep in the deep Alaskan Beaufort Sea, including a new species of Axinus (Thracidae: Bivalvia: Mollusca)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, C. L.; Valentich-Scott, P.; Lorenson, T. D.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    Several specimens of a new species of Axinus and a single well-worn gastropod columella provisionally assigned to the genus Neptunea (Buccinidae: Gastropoda: Mollusca) were recently recovered from at least two cores, the longest of which is 5.72 m long, from a large seafloor mound, informally named the Canning Seafloor Mound (CSM). The CSM is located at 2,530 m water depth on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea slope north of Camden Bay and is a fluid explosion feature containing methane hydrate and methane-saturated sediments overlying a folded and faulted deep basin. Only two modern species of Axinus are currently known. Axinus grandis (Verrill & Smith, 1885) is a northern Atlantic species and the recently described species, A. cascadiensis Oliver and Holmes (2007), is only known from Baby Bare Seamount, Cascadia Basin, northeastern Pacific Ocean. Common fragments, single valves, and a single articulated specimen represent this new Axinus species. These shells were distributed over nearly the entire length of the primary core. All specimens show wear and (or) dissolution. The age of these specimens is unknown and no living representatives were encountered. The genus Axinus has a fossil record back to the early Eocene in England and the Paleocene and Eocene in Egypt. Biogeographically the genus appears to have originated in the Tethys Sea and became established in the Atlantic Ocean during the Eocene, spreading across the Arctic Ocean in the late Tertiary. With the opening of the Bering Strait in the latest Miocene or early Pliocene the genus Axinus migrated southwest into the northeast Pacific. Interestingly, hydrocarbon seep deposits are also present on the adjacent North Slope of Alaska in the Marsh Anticline at Carter Creek, Camden Bay. These rocks, the Nuwok beds, contain abundant Thracidae bivalve of the genus Thracia, but not Axinus, however the rocks also represent cold seep deposits. These rocks have been variously dated from Oligocene to Pliocene and the exact age

  8. Behavior, disturbance responses, and feeding of bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus in the Beaufort Sea, 1980-1981

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, W.J.; Buchanan, R.A.; Clark, C.W.; Dorsey, E.M.; Fraker, M.A.

    1982-08-01

    In August and September of 1981, the second year, of a five-year study of bowhead whales was completed in the Canadian Beauford Sea. The purpose of the project was to (1) document the normal behavior of bowheads; (2) describe the characteristics of waterborne noise resulting from offshore oil industry activities; (3) quantify the behavioral responses of bowheads to various offshore oil-industry activities, and (4) characterize bowhead feeding areas. Field activities were based in Tuktoyoktuk N.W.T. and were carried out from aircraft, boats, and shore camps.

  9. Studies of the inner shelf and coastal sedimentation environment of the Beaufort Sea from ERTS-A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reimnitz, E. (Principal Investigator); Barnes, P. W.; Toimil, L. J.; Harden, D.

    1976-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Shearing periodically occurs between the westward moving pack ice (3 to 10 km/d) within the Pacific Gyre and the fast ice along the coast, forming major grounded shear and pressure ridges between the 10 to 40 m isobaths. Ridges occur in patterns conforming to known shoals. The zone of grounded ridges, called stamukhi zone, protects the inner shelf and coast from marine energy and pack ice forces. Relatively undeformed fast ice grows inshore of the stamukhi zone. The boundary is explained in terms of pack ice drift and major promontories and shoals. Intense ice gaging, highly disrupted sediments, and landward migration of shoals suggest that much of the available marine energy is expended on the sea floor within the stamukhi zone. Naleds (products of river icings) on the North Slope are more abundant east than west of the Colville River. Their location, growth, and decay were studied from LANDSAT imagery.

  10. Size distribution of particles and zooplankton across the shelf-basin system in Southeast Beaufort Sea: combined results from an Underwater Vision Profiler and vertical net tows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, A.; Stemmann, L.; Picheral, M.; Burdorf, L.; Robert, D.; Fortier, L.; Babin, M.

    2011-11-01

    The size distribution and mean spatial trends of large particles (>100 μm, in equivalent spherical diameter, ESD) and mesozooplankton were investigated across the Mackenzie Shelf (Southeast Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean) in July-August 2009. Our main objective was to combine results from an Underwater Vision Profiler 5 (UVP5) and traditional net tows (200 μm mesh size) to characterize the structural diversity and functioning of the Arctic shelf-basin ecosystem and to assess the large-scale correspondence between the two methodological approaches. The core dataset comprised 154 UVP5 profiles and 29 net tows conducted in the shelf (<100 m isobath), slope (100-1000 m) and basin (>1000 m) regions of the study area. The mean abundance of total particles and zooplankton in the upper water column (<75 m depth) declined exponentially with increasing distance from shore. Vertical and latitudinal patterns in total particle concentration followed those of chlorophyll-a (chl-a) concentration, with maximum values between 30 and 70 m depth. Based on the size-spectra derived from the UVP5 dataset, living organisms (0.1-10 mm ESD) accounted for an increasingly large proportion of total particle abundance (from 0.1% to > 50 %) when progressing offshore and as the ESD of particles was increasing. Both the UVP5 and net tows determined that copepods dominated the zooplankton community (~78-94 % by numbers) and that appendicularians were generally the second most abundant group (~1-11 %). The vertical distribution patterns of copepods and appendicularians indicated a close association between primary production and the main grazers. Manual taxonomic counts and ZooScan image analyses shed further light on the size-structure and composition of the copepod community - which was dominated at ~95 % by a guild of 10 typical taxa. The size distributions of copepods, as evaluated with the 3 methods (manual counts, ZooScan and UVP5), showed consistent patterns co-varying in the same order of

  11. Size distribution of particles and zooplankton across the shelf-basin system in southeast Beaufort Sea: combined results from an Underwater Vision Profiler and vertical net tows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, A.; Stemmann, L.; Picheral, M.; Burdorf, L.; Robert, D.; Fortier, L.; Babin, M.

    2012-04-01

    The size distribution and mean spatial trends of large particles (>100 μm, in equivalent spherical diameter, ESD) and mesozooplankton were investigated across the Mackenzie Shelf (southeast Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean) in July-August 2009. Our main objective was to combine results from an Underwater Vision Profiler 5 (UVP5) and traditional net tows (200 μm mesh size) to characterize the structural diversity and functioning of the Arctic shelf-basin ecosystem and to assess the large-scale correspondence between the two methodological approaches. The core dataset comprised 154 UVP5 profiles and 29 net tows conducted in the shelf (<100 m isobath), slope (100-1000 m) and basin (>1000 m) regions of the study area. The mean abundance of total particles and zooplankton in the upper water column (<75 m depth) declined exponentially with increasing distance from shore. Vertical and latitudinal patterns in total particle concentration followed those of chlorophyll a (chl a) concentration, with maximum values between 30 and 70 m depth. Based on the size-spectra derived from the UVP5 dataset, living organisms (0.1-10 mm ESD) accounted for an increasingly large proportion of total particle abundance (from 0.1 % to >50 %) when progressing offshore and as the ESD of particles was increasing. Both the UVP5 and net tows determined that copepods dominated the zooplankton community (~78-94 % by numbers) and that appendicularians were generally the second most abundant group (~1-11 %). The vertical distribution patterns of copepods and appendicularians indicated a close association between primary production and the main grazers. Manual taxonomic counts and ZooScan image analyses shed further light on the size-structure and composition of the copepod community - which was dominated at ~95 % by a guild of 10 typical taxa. The size distributions of copepods, as evaluated with the 3 methods (manual counts, ZooScan and UVP5), showed consistent patterns co-varying in the same order of

  12. Ecosystem function and particle flux dynamics across the Mackenzie Shelf (Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean): an integrative analysis of spatial variability and biophysical forcings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, A.; Babin, M.; Stemmann, L.; Picheral, M.; Sampei, M.; Fortier, L.; Gratton, Y.; Bélanger, S.; Devred, E.; Sahlin, J.; Doxaran, D.; Joux, F.; Ortega-Retuerta, E.; Jeffrey, W. H.; Martín, J.; Gasser, B.; Miquel, J. C.

    2012-08-01

    .26) and the high contribution (~94 %) of fast-sinking small aggregates (<1 mm; 20-30 m d-1) to the mass fluxes suggested that settling material across the region was overall fluffy, porous, and likely resulting from the aggregation of marine detritus, gel-like substances and ballast minerals. Our study demonstrates that vertical POC fluxes in Arctic shelf systems are spatially complex, sensitive to environmental forcings, and determined by both physicochemical mechanisms and food web functioning. In conclusion, we hypothesize that the incorporation of terrestrial matter into the Beaufort Sea food web could be catalyzed by bacteria via the incorporation of dissolved terrestrial carbon liberated through the photo-cleavage and/or hydrolysis of land-derived POC interweaved with marine aggregates.

  13. Apparent optical properties of the Canadian Beaufort Sea - Part 2: The 1% and 1 cm perspective in deriving and validating AOP data products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hooker, S. B.; Morrow, J. H.; Matsuoka, A.

    2013-07-01

    A next-generation in-water profiler designed to measure the apparent optical properties (AOPs) of seawater was developed and validated across a wide dynamic range of in-water properties. The new free-falling instrument, the Compact-Optical Profiling System (C-OPS), was based on sensors built with a cluster of 19 state-of-the-art microradiometers spanning 320-780 nm and a novel kite-shaped backplane. The new backplane includes tunable ballast, a hydrobaric buoyancy chamber, plus pitch and roll adjustments, to provide unprecedented stability and vertical resolution in near-surface waters. A unique data set was collected as part of the development activity plus the first major field campaign that used the new instrument, the Malina expedition to the Beaufort Sea in the vicinity of the Mackenzie River outflow. The data were of sufficient resolution and quality to show that errors - more correctly, uncertainties - in the execution of data sampling protocols were measurable at the 1% and 1 cm level with C-OPS. A theoretical sensitivity analysis as a function of three water types established by the peak in the remote sensing reflectance spectrum, Rrs(λ), revealed which water types and which parts of the spectrum were the most sensitive to data acquisition uncertainties. Shallow riverine waters were the most sensitive water type, and the ultraviolet and near-infrared spectral end members, which are critical to next-generation satellite missions, were the most sensitive parts of the spectrum. The sensitivity analysis also showed how the use of data products based on band ratios significantly mitigated the influence of data acquisition uncertainties. The unprecedented vertical resolution provided high-quality data products, which supported an alternative classification capability based on the spectral diffuse attenuation coefficient, Kd(λ). The Kd(320) and Kd(780) data showed how complex coastal systems can be distinguished two-dimensionally and how near-ice water masses

  14. Atlas of the Beaufort Sea.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-10-01

    Groton, CT 06340 13 . Type of Reoort and Period Covereo12. Soonsoring Agency Name and Address Department of Transportation • U.S. Coast Guard FINAL REPORT...A- 13 4.1 Outer Shelf . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A- 13 4.2 Inner Shelf...A- 13 5. LAGOON AND NEARSHORE CIRCULATION...... . . . . . . . . . . . A-24 5.1 Open Lagoons

  15. 76 FR 49664 - Drawbridge Operation Regulation; Beaufort Channel, Beaufort, NC

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-11

    ... deviation is necessary to accommodate racing participants for the ``Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation Sprint..., at Beaufort, NC. The bike route of the ``Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation Sprint Triathlon'' crosses the...

  16. Composition, biomass and energetic content of biota in the vicinity of feeding bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) in the Cape Bathurst upwelling region (south eastern Beaufort Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walkusz, Wojciech; Williams, William J.; Harwood, Lois A.; Moore, Sue E.; Stewart, Barbara E.; Kwasniewski, Slawomir

    2012-11-01

    Bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort population form annual late-summer feeding aggregations offshore of the eastern Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula and Cape Bathurst. This region is strongly influenced by episodic upwelling events. A systematic aerial survey (10% coverage) was flown over the eastern shelf on 2 August 2008, revealing large numbers of bowheads (est. 3500 individuals) in a clumped distribution over the continental shelf. Between 7 and 11 August 2008, zooplankton samples and hydrography were obtained from the vicinity of two bowhead feeding aggregations, one at the northeast edge of the continental shelf, and the second off the northeast shore of the Cape Bathurst. Dense aggregations of zooplankton were found in the lower part of the water column (below 40 m), on the shelf, in water with an upwelling signature. The zooplankton were largely resting phases of calanoid copepods (Calanus hyperboreus and C. glacialis) and collectively had twice the abundance, twice the biomass, three times the caloric density and thus six times the energy content of contemporaneous zooplankton samples from the western Canadian Beaufort Shelf. Although upwelling at Cape Bathurst is wind-driven and thus episodic in nature, its consistent delivery of zooplankton to the bowhead foraging area creates conditions attractive to bowhead whales, with an estimated 33% of the bowhead population present on the eastern portion of the shelf at the time of the August 2008 aerial survey.

  17. Supplementary Measurements in the Beaufort/Chukchi 2015 MIZ

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    parameters in order to investigate whether waves travelling into the pack from the open ocean play a significant role in sea ice breakup and subsequent melt ...of sea ice in the Beaufort/ Chukchi Sea region, or whether a 2014 situation – in which waves were only experienced late in the melt season i.e. when...Emerging Dynamics Of The Marginal Ice Zone DRI allowed us to autonomously examine one year’s evolution of the lower atmosphere, sea ice and upper-ocean

  18. 76 FR 78820 - Safety Zone; City of Beaufort's Tricentennial New Year's Eve Fireworks Display, Beaufort River...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-20

    ... Eve Fireworks Display, Beaufort River, Beaufort, SC AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS. ACTION: Temporary final... Beaufort, South Carolina, during the City of Beaufort's Tricentennial New Year's Eve Fireworks Display. The... navigable waters of the United States. Discussion of Rule On New Year's Eve, a fireworks display will...

  19. The Legacy of Admiral Beaufort

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heidorn, Keith

    1978-01-01

    Francis Beaufort was a British naval officer who developed a wind force scale based on the effect of wind strength on frigate sails. Over the years, this scale has been modified, and today it is used internationally to describe the speed of the wind using numerical equivalents. (MA)

  20. Atmospheric Profiles, Clouds, and the Evolution of Sea Ice Cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas Atmospheric Observations and Modeling as Part of the Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Surveys

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Atmospheric Profiles, Clouds , and the Evolution of Sea Ice...sea ice retreats further, changes in lower atmospheric temperature, humidity, winds, and clouds are likely to result from changed sea ice...how changes in sea ice and sea surface conditions in the SIZ affect changes in cloud properties and cover. • Determine the role additional atmospheric

  1. Warm Rivers Play Role in Arctic Sea Ice Melt Animation

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-03-05

    This frame from a NASA MODIS animation depicts warming sea surface temperatures in the Arctic Beaufort Sea after warm waters from Canada Mackenzie River broke through a shoreline sea ice barrier in summer 2012, enhancing the melting of sea ice.

  2. Formation and ridging of flaw leads in the eastern Canadian Beaufort Sea. Special Session C06 on: “Physical, biological and biogeochemical processes associated with young thin ice types”

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prinsenberg, S. J.

    2009-12-01

    Formation and ridging of flaw leads in the eastern Canadian Beaufort Sea. Simon Prinsenberg1 and Yves Graton2 1Bedford Inst. of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada P.O. Box1006, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, B2Y 4A2, Canada prinsenbergs@mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca 2Inst. National de la Recherche Scientifique-Eau, INRS-ETE University of Quebec at Quebec City, Quebec yvesgratton@eteinrs.ca During the winter of 2008, the flaw lead south of Banks Island repeatedly opened and closed representing an elongated region where periodically the large ice growth stimulates the densification of the surface layer due to salt rejection and instigates a local circulation pattern that will affect the biological processes of the region. Helicopter-borne sensors were available to monitor the aftermath of one of the rapid closing of the flaw lead into extensive elongated rubble field using a Canadian Ice breaker, CCGS Amundsen, as a logistic base. After the wind reversed a new open flaw lead 20km wide restarting a new flaw lead formation cycle. Ice thickness and surface roughness data were collected from the rubble field and adjacent open flaw lead with an Electromagnetic-Laser system. The strong wind event of April 4-5 2009 generated a large linear 1.5km wide ice rubble field up to 8-10m thick when the 60cm thick, 18km wide flaw lead was crunched into land-fast by the 1.5m thick offshore pack ice. It is expected that during rapid ice growth in a flaw lead, salt rejection increase the density of the surface water layer producing a surface depression (Low) and cyclonic circulation. In contrast at depth, the extra surface dense water produces a high in the horizontal pressure field and anti-cyclonic circulation which remains after the rapid ice growth within the flaw lead stops. One of such remnants may have been observed during the CFL-IPY winter survey.

  3. Morbillivirus and Toxoplasma exposure and association with hematological parameters for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears: potential response to infectious agents in a sentinel species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirk, Cassandra M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, Todd M.

    2010-01-01

    Arctic temperatures are increasing in response to greenhouse gas forcing and polar bears have already responded to changing conditions. Declines in body stature and vital rates have been linked to warming-induced loss of sea-ice. As food webs change and human activities respond to a milder Arctic, exposure of polar bears and other arctic marine organisms to infectious agents may increase. Because of the polar bear’s status as arctic ecosystem sentinel, polar bear health could provide an index of changing pathogen occurrence throughout the Arctic, however, exposure and monitoring protocols have yet to be established. We examine prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii, and four morbilliviruses (canine distemper [CDV], phocine distemper [PDV], dolphin morbillivirus [DMV], porpoise morbillivirus [PMV]) including risk factors for exposure. We also examine the relationships between antibody levels and hematologic values established in the previous companion article. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and morbilliviruses were found in both sample years. We found a significant inverse relationship between CDV titer and total leukocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils, and a significant positive relationship between eosinophils and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies. Morbilliviral prevalence varied significantly among age cohorts, with 1–2 year olds least likely to be seropositive and bears aged 5–7 most likely. Data suggest that the presence of CDV and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies is associated with polar bear hematologic values. We conclude that exposure to CDV-like antigen is not randomly distributed among age classes and suggest that differing behaviors among life history stages may drive probability of specific antibody presence.

  4. Morbillivirus and Toxoplasma exposure and association with hematological parameters for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears: potential response to infectious agents in a sentinel species.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Cassandra M; Amstrup, Steven; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, Todd M

    2010-09-01

    Arctic temperatures are increasing in response to greenhouse gas forcing and polar bears have already responded to changing conditions. Declines in body stature and vital rates have been linked to warming-induced loss of sea-ice. As food webs change and human activities respond to a milder Arctic, exposure of polar bears and other arctic marine organisms to infectious agents may increase. Because of the polar bear's status as arctic ecosystem sentinel, polar bear health could provide an index of changing pathogen occurrence throughout the Arctic, however, exposure and monitoring protocols have yet to be established. We examine prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii, and four morbilliviruses (canine distemper [CDV], phocine distemper [PDV], dolphin morbillivirus [DMV], porpoise morbillivirus [PMV]) including risk factors for exposure. We also examine the relationships between antibody levels and hematologic values established in the previous companion article. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and morbilliviruses were found in both sample years. We found a significant inverse relationship between CDV titer and total leukocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils, and a significant positive relationship between eosinophils and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies. Morbilliviral prevalence varied significantly among age cohorts, with 1-2 year olds least likely to be seropositive and bears aged 5-7 most likely. Data suggest that the presence of CDV and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies is associated with polar bear hematologic values. We conclude that exposure to CDV-like antigen is not randomly distributed among age classes and suggest that differing behaviors among life history stages may drive probability of specific antibody presence.

  5. Ecosystem function and particle flux dynamics across the Mackenzie Shelf (Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean): an integrative analysis of spatial variability and biophysical forcings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forest, A.; Babin, M.; Stemmann, L.; Picheral, M.; Sampei, M.; Fortier, L.; Gratton, Y.; Bélanger, S.; Devred, E.; Sahlin, J.; Doxaran, D.; Joux, F.; Ortega-Retuerta, E.; Martín, J.; Jeffrey, W. H.; Gasser, B.; Miquel, J. Carlos

    2013-05-01

    A better understanding of how environmental changes affect organic matter fluxes in Arctic marine ecosystems is sorely needed. Here we combine mooring times series, ship-based measurements and remote sensing to assess the variability and forcing factors of vertical fluxes of particulate organic carbon (POC) across the Mackenzie Shelf in 2009. We developed a geospatial model of these fluxes to proceed to an integrative analysis of their determinants in summer. Flux data were obtained with sediment traps moored around 125 m and via a regional empirical algorithm applied to particle size distributions (17 classes from 0.08-4.2 mm) measured by an Underwater Vision Profiler 5. The low fractal dimension (i.e., porous, fluffy particles) derived from the algorithm (1.26 ± 0.34) and the dominance (~ 77%) of rapidly sinking small aggregates (< 0.5 mm) in total fluxes suggested that settling material was the product of recent aggregation processes between marine detritus, gel-like substances, and ballast minerals. Modeled settling velocity of small and large aggregates was, respectively, higher and lower than in previous studies within which a high fractal dimension (i.e., more compact particles) was consequential of deep-trap collection (~400-1300 m). Redundancy analyses and forward selection of abiotic/biotic parameters, linear trends, and spatial structures (i.e., principal coordinates of neighbor matrices, PCNM) were conducted to partition the variation of the 17 POC flux size classes. Flux variability was explained at 69.5% by the addition of a temporal trend, 7 significant PCNM, and 9 biophysical variables. The first PCNM canonical axis (44.5% of spatial variance) reflected the total magnitude of POC fluxes through a shelf-basin gradient controlled by bottom depth and sea ice concentration (p < 0.01). The second most important spatial structure (5.0%) corresponded to areas where shelf break upwelling is known to occur under easterlies and where phytoplankton was

  6. From Tununak to Beaufort: Taking a Critical Inquiry Stance as a First Year Teacher

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fecho, Bob; Price, Kim; Read, Chris

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the authors show how two first year teachers a continent apart--Kim in the village of Tununak on the Bering Sea in Alaska and Chris in Beaufort, South Carolina, on the Atlantic Ocean--were able to take inquiry stances on their classrooms. In particular, through analysis of e-mails written in Chris' and Kim's first years of…

  7. From Tununak to Beaufort: Taking a Critical Inquiry Stance as a First Year Teacher

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fecho, Bob; Price, Kim; Read, Chris

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the authors show how two first year teachers a continent apart--Kim in the village of Tununak on the Bering Sea in Alaska and Chris in Beaufort, South Carolina, on the Atlantic Ocean--were able to take inquiry stances on their classrooms. In particular, through analysis of e-mails written in Chris' and Kim's first years of…

  8. Warm Rivers Play Role in Arctic Sea Ice Melt

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-03-05

    Beaufort Sea surface temperatures where Canada Mackenzie River discharges into the Arctic Ocean, measured by NASA MODIS instrument; warm river waters had broken through a shoreline sea ice barrier to enhance sea ice melt.

  9. Ekman circulation in the Arctic Ocean: Beyond the Beaufort Gyre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Barry; Steele, Michael; Lee, Craig M.

    2017-04-01

    Data derived from satellite-based observations, with buoy-based observations and assimilations, are used to calculate ocean Ekman layer transport and evaluate long-term trends in the Arctic Ocean over the period 1979-2014. The 36 year mean of upwelling (downwelling) is 3.7 ± 2.0 (-4.0 ± 2.2) Sv for the entire Arctic Basin, with ˜0.3 Sv net downwelling contributed mostly by the Canadian region. With regard to long-term trends, the annual mean upwelling (downwelling) over the entire Arctic Basin is increasing at a linear rate of 0.92 (-0.98) Sv/decade. The Canada/Alaska coasts and Beaufort and Laptev Seas are regions of greatest Ekman transport intensification. The central Arctic Ocean and Lincoln Sea also have an increasing trend in transport. The Canadian and Eurasian regions each account for about half the total vertical Ekman variations in the Arctic Basin.

  10. Marine fish community structure and habitat associations on the Canadian Beaufort shelf and slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majewski, Andrew R.; Atchison, Sheila; MacPhee, Shannon; Eert, Jane; Niemi, Andrea; Michel, Christine; Reist, James D.

    2017-03-01

    Marine fishes in the Canadian Beaufort Sea have complex interactions with habitats and prey, and occupy a pivotal position in the food web by transferring energy between lower- and upper-trophic levels, and also within and among habitats (e.g., benthic-pelagic coupling). The distributions, habitat associations, and community structure of most Beaufort Sea marine fishes, however, are unknown thus precluding effective regulatory management of emerging offshore industries in the region (e.g., hydrocarbon development, shipping, and fisheries). Between 2012 and 2014, Fisheries and Oceans Canada conducted the first baseline survey of offshore marine fishes, their habitats, and ecological relationships in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. Benthic trawling was conducted at 45 stations spanning 18-1001 m depths across shelf and slope habitats. Physical oceanographic variables (depth, salinity, temperature, oxygen), biological variables (benthic chlorophyll and integrated water-column chlorophyll) and sediment composition (grain size) were assessed as potential explanatory variables for fish community structure using a non-parametric statistical approach. Selected stations were re-sampled in 2013 and 2014 for a preliminary assessment of inter-annual variability in the fish community. Four distinct fish assemblages were delineated on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf and slope: 1) Nearshore-shelf: <50 m depth, 2) Offshore-shelf: >50 and ≤200 m depths, 3) Upper-slope: ≥200 and ≤500 m depths, and 4) Lower-slope: ≥500 m depths. Depth was the environmental variable that best explained fish community structure, and each species assemblage was spatially associated with distinct aspects of the vertical water mass profile. Significant differences in the fish community from east to west were not detected, and the species composition of the assemblages on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf have not changed substantially over the past decade. This community analysis provides a framework for testing

  11. Canada's Beaufort Arctic Islands, Atlantic frontiers look steadily better

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-02-25

    The commercial potential of Canada's sprawling, remote-frontier oil plays will become clearer this year, with critical wildcats and step-outs underway or planned in the Arctic Islands and Beaufort Sea as well as on the Grand Banks and Scotian shelves. Because of a string of significant discoveries in all frontier areas in 1979, industry spokesmen are cautiously confident that follow-up drilling will prove oil and gas production feasible in the Arctic and off the Canadian East Coast. They see frontier potential as the key element in Canada's drive to achieve energy self-sufficiency by 1990. Despite the exploration successes chalked up to date, a number of pitfalls block quick development of frontier areas. For example, political actions may result in cutbacks in frontier-area depletion allowances. Furthermore, solutions to the production and transportation problems posed by hostile environments are still on the drawing board or in the early stages of engineering design and field testing.

  12. Evidence of chromosomal damage in common eiders (Somateria mollissima) from the Baltic Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matson, C.W.; Franson, J.C.; Hollmén, Tuula E.; Kilpi, Mikael; Hario, Martti; Flint, P.L.; Bickham, J.W.

    2004-01-01

    Common eiders nesting in the Baltic Sea are exposed to generally high levels of contaminants including potentially genotoxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organochlorines. Blood samples were collected from eiders at eight sites in the Baltic Sea and two sites in the Beaufort Sea. DNA content variation was estimated using the flow cytometric method, and subsequently utilized as a biomarker of genetic damage. We observed no significant differences in genetic damage among populations within either the Baltic or Beaufort Seas. However, eider populations from the Baltic Sea had significantly elevated estimates of genetic damage compared to populations from the Beaufort Sea.

  13. Evidence of chromosomal damage in common eiders (Somateria mollissima) from the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Matson, Cole W; Franson, J Christian; Hollmén, Tuula; Kilpi, Mikael; Hario, Martti; Flint, Paul L; Bickham, John W

    2004-12-01

    Common eiders nesting in the Baltic Sea are exposed to generally high levels of contaminants including potentially genotoxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and organochlorines. Blood samples were collected from eiders at eight sites in the Baltic Sea and two sites in the Beaufort Sea. DNA content variation was estimated using the flow cytometric method, and subsequently utilized as a biomarker of genetic damage. We observed no significant differences in genetic damage among populations within either the Baltic or Beaufort Seas. However, eider populations from the Baltic Sea had significantly elevated estimates of genetic damage compared to populations from the Beaufort Sea.

  14. Distribution patterns of Canadian Beaufort Shelf macrobenthos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conlan, Kathleen; Aitken, Alec; Hendrycks, Ed; McClelland, Christine; Melling, Humfrey

    2008-12-01

    Variation in macrofaunal composition in relation to sediment and water variables was analysed in nine regions of the western Canadian Arctic on the Beaufort Shelf and in Amundsen Gulf. We hypothesized that benthic community composition was distinctive (1) in a recurrent polynya in Amundsen Gulf and (2) in upwelling regions (Cape Bathurst and Mackenzie Canyon) and (3) changed in a linear gradient across the Beaufort Shelf. Analysis was based on 497 taxa > 0.4 mm from 134 samples at 52 stations sampled over 2002-4 in 11-1000 m water depth. Abundance ranged from 490.7 m - 2 in eastern Amundsen Gulf to 17,950 m - 2 off Cape Bathurst. (1) Community composition in Amundsen Gulf was not significantly different from the Beaufort Shelf at similar depth, indicating a lack of benthic effect of the polynya in Amundsen Gulf. (2) The Mackenzie Canyon macrofauna, although abundant and diverse, were similarly indistinct from the shelf community at similar depth. However, there was a 10-fold increase in inshore abundance in the upwelling region of Cape Bathurst due to large numbers of the amphipod Ampelisca macrocephala and the polychaete Barantolla americana, species that were not abundant elsewhere. (3) In the inshore fast ice and flaw lead regions of the Beaufort Shelf, under the influence of ice scour, storm effects, coastal erosion and the Mackenzie River, the macrofauna were dominated by the bivalve Portlandia arctica and the polychaete Micronephthys minuta. Offshore, where these influences were less and upwelling of deep Atlantic water occurred, the polychaete Maldane sarsi dominated. Faunal distribution across the Beaufort Shelf correlated with depth, water and sediment changes but was not significantly linear.

  15. Mineralogical, geochemical, and magnetic signatures of surface sediments from the Canadian Beaufort Shelf and Amundsen Gulf (Canadian Arctic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamboa, Adriana; Montero-Serrano, Jean-Carlos; St-Onge, Guillaume; Rochon, André; Desiage, Pierre-Arnaud

    2017-02-01

    Mineralogical, geochemical, magnetic, and siliciclastic grain-size signatures of 34 surface sediment samples from the Mackenzie-Beaufort Sea Slope and Amundsen Gulf were studied in order to better constrain the redox status, detrital particle provenance, and sediment dynamics in the western Canadian Arctic. Redox-sensitive elements (Mn, Fe, V, Cr, Zn) indicate that modern sedimentary deposition within the Mackenzie-Beaufort Sea Slope and Amundsen Gulf took place under oxic bottom-water conditions, with more turbulent mixing conditions and thus a well-oxygenated water column prevailing within the Amundsen Gulf. The analytical data obtained, combined with multivariate statistical (notably, principal component and fuzzy c-means clustering analyses) and spatial analyses, allowed the division of the study area into four provinces with distinct sedimentary compositions: (1) the Mackenzie Trough-Canadian Beaufort Shelf with high phyllosilicate-Fe oxide-magnetite and Al-K-Ti-Fe-Cr-V-Zn-P contents; (2) Southwestern Banks Island, characterized by high dolomite-K-feldspar and Ca-Mg-LOI contents; (3) the Central Amundsen Gulf, a transitional zone typified by intermediate phyllosilicate-magnetite-K-feldspar-dolomite and Al-K-Ti-Fe-Mn-V-Zn-Sr-Ca-Mg-LOI contents; and (4) mud volcanoes on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf distinguished by poorly sorted coarse-silt with high quartz-plagioclase-authigenic carbonate and Si-Zr contents, as well as high magnetic susceptibility. Our results also confirm that the present-day sedimentary dynamics on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf is mainly controlled by sediment supply from the Mackenzie River. Overall, these insights provide a basis for future studies using mineralogical, geochemical, and magnetic signatures of Canadian Arctic sediments in order to reconstruct past variations in sediment inputs and transport pathways related to late Quaternary climate and oceanographic changes.

  16. 33 CFR 117.822 - Beaufort Channel, NC.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Beaufort Channel, NC. 117.822 Section 117.822 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements North Carolina § 117.822 Beaufort Channel, NC....

  17. 33 CFR 117.822 - Beaufort Channel, NC.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Beaufort Channel, NC. 117.822 Section 117.822 Navigation and Navigable Waters COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY BRIDGES DRAWBRIDGE OPERATION REGULATIONS Specific Requirements North Carolina § 117.822 Beaufort Channel, NC....

  18. The exchange of inorganic carbon on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mol, Jacoba; Thomas, Helmuth; Hu, Xianmin; Myers, Paul G.

    2017-04-01

    The Mackenzie Shelf in the southeastern Beaufort Sea is an area that has experienced large changes in the past several decades as warming, sea-ice loss, and increased river discharge have altered carbon cycling. Upwelling and downwelling events are common on the shelf, caused by strong, fluctuating along-shore winds and resulting cross-shelf Ekman transport. Downwelling carries inorganic carbon and other remineralization products off the shelf and into the deep basin for possible long-term storage in the world oceans. Upwelling carries water high in dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and nutrients from the Pacific-origin upper halocline layer (UHL) onto the shelf. Profiles of DIC and total alkalinity (TA) taken in August and September of 2014 are used to investigate the cycling of inorganic carbon on the Mackenzie Shelf. The along-shore and cross-shelf transport of inorganic carbon is quantified using velocity field output from a simulation of the Arctic and Northern Hemisphere Atlantic (ANHA4) configuration of the Nucleus of European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) model. A strong upwelling event prior to sampling on the Mackenzie Shelf is analyzed and the resulting influence on the carbonate system, including the saturation state of aragonite and pH levels, is investigated. TA and δ18O are used to examine water mass distributions in the study area and analyze the influence of Pacific Water, Mackenzie River freshwater, and sea-ice melt on carbon dynamics and air-sea fluxes of CO2 in the surface mixed layer. Understanding carbon transfer in this seasonally dynamic environment is key in order to quantify the importance of Arctic shelf regions to the global carbon cycle and to provide a basis for understanding how its role will respond to the aforementioned changes in the regional marine system.

  19. 76 FR 5267 - Safety Zone; Beaufort River/Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Beaufort, SC

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-31

    ... Waterway, South Carolina during construction and expansion of the J.E. McTeer Bridge, also referred to as... of the Beaufort River during construction and expansion of the J.E. McTeer Bridge. Persons and... and Purpose The construction and expansion of the J.E. McTeer Bridge will create safety hazards within...

  20. 75 FR 69371 - Safety Zone; Beaufort River/Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Beaufort, SC

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-12

    ... Intracoastal Waterway, South Carolina during the construction and expansion of the J.E. McTeer Bridge, also... navigable waters of the Beaufort River during the construction and expansion of the J.E. McTeer Bridge... Register. Background and Purpose The construction and expansion of the J.E. McTeer Bridge will create...

  1. Widespread gas hydrate instability on the upper U.S. Beaufort margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phrampus, Benjamin J.; Hornbach, Matthew J.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Hart, Patrick E.

    2014-01-01

    The most climate-sensitive methane hydrate deposits occur on upper continental slopes at depths close to the minimum pressure and maximum temperature for gas hydrate stability. At these water depths, small perturbations in intermediate ocean water temperatures can lead to gas hydrate dissociation. The Arctic Ocean has experienced more dramatic warming than lower latitudes, but observational data have not been used to study the interplay between upper slope gas hydrates and warming ocean waters. Here we use (a) legacy seismic data that constrain upper slope gas hydrate distributions on the U.S. Beaufort Sea margin, (b) Alaskan North Slope borehole data and offshore thermal gradients determined from gas hydrate stability zone thickness to infer regional heat flow, and (c) 1088 direct measurements to characterize multidecadal intermediate ocean warming in the U.S. Beaufort Sea. Combining these data with a three-dimensional thermal model shows that the observed gas hydrate stability zone is too deep by 100 to 250 m. The disparity can be partially attributed to several processes, but the most important is the reequilibration (thinning) of gas hydrates in response to significant (~0.5°C at 2σ certainty) warming of intermediate ocean temperatures over 39 years in a depth range that brackets the upper slope extent of the gas hydrate stability zone. Even in the absence of additional ocean warming, 0.44 to 2.2 Gt of methane could be released from reequilibrating gas hydrates into the sediments underlying an area of ~5–7.5 × 103 km2 on the U.S. Beaufort Sea upper slope during the next century.

  2. Widespread gas hydrate instability on the upper U.S. Beaufort margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phrampus, Benjamin J.; Hornbach, Matthew J.; Ruppel, Carolyn D.; Hart, Patrick E.

    2014-12-01

    The most climate-sensitive methane hydrate deposits occur on upper continental slopes at depths close to the minimum pressure and maximum temperature for gas hydrate stability. At these water depths, small perturbations in intermediate ocean water temperatures can lead to gas hydrate dissociation. The Arctic Ocean has experienced more dramatic warming than lower latitudes, but observational data have not been used to study the interplay between upper slope gas hydrates and warming ocean waters. Here we use (a) legacy seismic data that constrain upper slope gas hydrate distributions on the U.S. Beaufort Sea margin, (b) Alaskan North Slope borehole data and offshore thermal gradients determined from gas hydrate stability zone thickness to infer regional heat flow, and (c) 1088 direct measurements to characterize multidecadal intermediate ocean warming in the U.S. Beaufort Sea. Combining these data with a three-dimensional thermal model shows that the observed gas hydrate stability zone is too deep by 100 to 250 m. The disparity can be partially attributed to several processes, but the most important is the reequilibration (thinning) of gas hydrates in response to significant (~0.5°C at 2σ certainty) warming of intermediate ocean temperatures over 39 years in a depth range that brackets the upper slope extent of the gas hydrate stability zone. Even in the absence of additional ocean warming, 0.44 to 2.2 Gt of methane could be released from reequilibrating gas hydrates into the sediments underlying an area of ~5-7.5 × 103 km2 on the U.S. Beaufort Sea upper slope during the next century.

  3. Air-sea interactions during an Arctic storm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Zhenxia; Perrie, Will

    2012-08-01

    The impacts of increased open water in the Beaufort Sea were investigated for a summer Arctic storm in 2008 using a coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean model. The storm originated in northern Siberia and slowly moved into the Beaufort Sea along the ice edge in late July. The maximum wind associated with the storm occurred when it was located over the open water near the Beaufort Sea coast, after it had moved over the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The coupled model system is shown to simulate the storm track, intensity, maximum wind speed and the ice cover well. The model simulations suggest that the lack of ice cover in the Beaufort Sea during the 2008 storm results in increased local surface wind and surface air temperature, compared to enhanced ice cover extents such as occurred in past decades. In addition, due to this increase of open water, the surface latent and sensible heat fluxes into the atmosphere are significantly increased. However, there were no significant impacts on the storm track. The expanded open water and the loss of the sea ice results in increases in the surface air temperature by as much as 8°C. Although the atmospheric warming mostly occurs in the boundary layer, there is increased atmospheric boundary turbulence and downward kinetic energy transport that reach to mid-levels of the troposphere and beyond. These changes result in enhanced surface winds, by as much as ˜4 m/s during the 2008 storm, compared to higher ice concentration conditions (typical of past decades). The dominant sea surface temperature response to the storm occurs over open water; storm-generated mixing in the upper ocean results in sea surface cooling of up to 2°C along the southern Beaufort Sea coastal waters. The Ekman divergence associated with the storm caused a decrease in the fresh water content in the central Beaufort Sea by about 11 cm.

  4. Beaufort/Bering 1979 microwave remote sensing data catalog report, 14-24 March 1979

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hirstein, W. S.; Hennigar, H. F.; Schaffner, S. K.; Delnore, V. E.; Grantham, W. L.

    1983-01-01

    The airborne microwave remote sending measurements obtained by the Langley Research Center in support of the 1979 Sea-Ice Radar Experiment (SIRE) in the Beaufort and Bering Seas are discussed. The remote sensing objective of SIRE was to define correlations between both active and passive microwave signatures and ice phenomena assocated with practical applications in the Arctic. The instruments used by Langley during SIRE include the stepped frequency microwave radiometer (SFMR), the airborne microwave scatterometer (AMSCAT), the precision radiation thermometer (PRT-5), and metric aerial photography. Remote sensing data are inventoried and cataloged in a user-friendly format. The data catalog is presented as time-history plots when and where data were obtained as well as the sensor configuration.

  5. Sea Ice and Oceanographic Conditions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oceanus, 1986

    1986-01-01

    The coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea are covered with ice three-fourths of the year. These waters (during winter) are discussed by considering: consolidation of coastal ice; under-ice water; brine circulation; biological energy; life under the ice (including kelp and larger animals); food chains; and ice break-up. (JN)

  6. Sea Ice and Oceanographic Conditions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oceanus, 1986

    1986-01-01

    The coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea are covered with ice three-fourths of the year. These waters (during winter) are discussed by considering: consolidation of coastal ice; under-ice water; brine circulation; biological energy; life under the ice (including kelp and larger animals); food chains; and ice break-up. (JN)

  7. A Business Case Analysis on the Feasibility of Recapturing Inpatient Obstetrical Services for Naval Hospital Beaufort

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-06-14

    its impact on surrounding health care facilities, to include Naval Hospital Beaufort. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2002...will be examined along with its impact on TRICARE Obstetrical in-patient beneficiaries and their available choices. The author will examine the...Facility (MTF), it services and treats the eligible population surrounding Beaufort County, Beaufort, SC. Naval Hospital Beaufort is fully accredited by

  8. 40 CFR 81.113 - Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 17 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South... PLANNING PURPOSES Designation of Air Quality Control Regions § 81.113 Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region. The Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina...

  9. 40 CFR 81.113 - Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 17 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South... PLANNING PURPOSES Designation of Air Quality Control Regions § 81.113 Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region. The Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina...

  10. 40 CFR 81.113 - Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 18 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South... PLANNING PURPOSES Designation of Air Quality Control Regions § 81.113 Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region. The Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South...

  11. 40 CFR 81.113 - Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 18 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South... PLANNING PURPOSES Designation of Air Quality Control Regions § 81.113 Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region. The Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South...

  12. 40 CFR 81.113 - Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 18 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South... PLANNING PURPOSES Designation of Air Quality Control Regions § 81.113 Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South Carolina) Interstate Air Quality Control Region. The Savannah (Georgia)-Beaufort (South...

  13. Crustal-scale geological and thermal models of the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin, Arctic Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sippel, Judith; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Kröger, Karsten; Lewerenz, Björn

    2010-05-01

    of Tertiary deltaic sequences, AAPG Bulletin, 92(2): 225-247. Kroeger, K.F., di Primio, R. and Horsfield, B., (2009). Hydrocarbon flow modeling in complex structures (Mackenzie Basin, Canada), AAPG Bulletin, 93(9): 1-25. O'Leary, D.M., Ellis, R.M., Stephenson, R.A., Lane, L.S. and Zelt, C.A., 1995. Crustal structure of the northern Yukon and Mackenzie Delta, northwestern Canada, Journal of Geophysical Research 100(B7): 9905-9920. Stephenson, R.A., Coflin, K.C., Lane, L.S. and Dietrich, J.R., 1994. Crustal structure and tectonics of the southeastern Beaufort Sea continental margin, Tectonics, 13(2): 389-400.

  14. Seasonal variation of the Beaufort shelfbreak jet and its relationship to Arctic cetacean occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Peigen; Pickart, Robert S.; Stafford, Kathleen M.; Moore, G. W. K.; Torres, Daniel J.; Bahr, Frank; Hu, Jianyu

    2016-12-01

    Using mooring time series from September 2008 to August 2012, together with ancillary atmospheric and satellite data sets, we quantify the seasonal variations of the shelfbreak jet in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea and explore connections to the occurrences of bowhead and beluga whales. Wind patterns during the 4 year study period are different from the long-term climatological conditions that the springtime peak in easterly winds shifted from May to June and the autumn peak was limited to October instead of extending farther into the fall. These changes were primarily due to the behavior of the two regional atmospheric centers of action, the Aleutian Low and Beaufort High. The volume transport of the shelfbreak jet, which peaks in the summer, was decomposed into a background (weak wind) component and a wind-driven component. The wind-driven component is correlated to the Pt. Barrow, AK alongcoast wind speed record although a more accurate prediction is obtained when considering the ice thickness at the mooring site. An upwelling index reveals that wind-driven upwelling is enhanced in June and October when storms are stronger and longer-lasting. The seasonal variation of Arctic cetacean occurrence is dominated by the eastward migration in spring, dictated by pack-ice patterns, and westward migration in fall, coincident with the autumn peak in shelfbreak upwelling intensity.

  15. Role of Ice Dynamics in the Sea Ice Mass Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutchings, Jennifer; Geiger, Cathleen; Roberts, Andrew; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline; Doble, Martin; Forsberg, Rene; Giles, Katharine; Haas, Christian; Hendricks, Stefan; Khambhamettu, Chandra; Laxon, Seymour; Martin, Torge; Pruis, Matthew; Thomas, Mani; Wadhams, Peter; Zwally, H. Jay

    2008-12-01

    Over the past decade, the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea ice pack has been less extensive and thinner than has been observed during the previous 35 years [e.g., Wadhams and Davis, 2000; Tucker et al., 2001; Rothrock et al., 1999; Parkinson and Cavalieri, 2002; Comiso, 2002]. During the summers of 2007 and 2008, the ice extents for both the Beaufort Sea and the Northern Hemisphere were the lowest on record. Mechanisms causing recent sea ice change in the Pacific Arctic and the Beaufort Sea are under investigation on many fronts [e.g., Drobot and Maslanik, 2003; Shimada et al., 2006]; the mechanisms include increased ocean surface warming due to Pacific Ocean water inflow to the region and variability in meteorological and surface conditions. However, in most studies addressing these events, the impact of sea ice dynamics, specifically deformation, has not been measured in detail.

  16. Environmental Measurements in the Beaufort Sea, Spring 1990

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-12-01

    is limited. The data were collected to document the meteorological and oceanographic conditions that existed during camp activities , and to furnish...insight into the underwater sound-speed structure and ambient noise during camp activities , and to furnish insight into the underwater sound-speed

  17. Marine ice-pushed boulder ridge, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barnes, Peter W.

    1982-01-01

    A steep-faced boulder ridge up to 4m high by 300m long was encountered along the arctic coast east of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in the summer of 1979. Marine occurrences of similar ridges are rare. Since ice-push sorts cobble- and boulder-sized material in the construction of a ridge, recent onshore excursions of ice due to wind stress on the fast ice are believed to be responsible for building the boulder ridge. Ice push is a mechanism that preferentially sorts cobble- and boulder-sized material from 1-2m water depths and that forms boulder ridges in areas of high boulder concentrations.

  18. Beaufort Sea Methane Hydrate Exploration: Energy and Climate Change

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-27

    Branch Marine Geosciences Division i REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8...NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 2. REPORT TYPE1. REPORT DATE (DD-MM-YYYY) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 6. AUTHOR(S) 8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER 7...11 Table of Tables Table 1: Core location, date and water column depth. …………………………………….. 5 Table 2: Estimates of the

  19. Coastal Oceanography in the Beaufort Sea, Summer 1985.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-07-01

    shortage of time. Because of deteriorating weather conditions (40-knot winds , snow, and rain), depar- ture of the scientific party from the ship was...ice is evident, which helps to open up large areas west of Pt. Barrow and west of the Mackenzie River. The winds reported by the ship (Section III...presence of river water. This warm water would be expected to cause deterioration in the ice. At times, easterly winds move the ice eastward from Banks

  20. Late Tectonic history of Beaufort Sea - North Pacific area

    SciTech Connect

    McWhae, J.R.H.

    1985-02-01

    The Kaltag fault (and its northern associated splay, the Rapid fault array) is the sheared suture between the Eurasian-Alaskan plate and the North American plate in the area between the Mackenzie Delta and the Alaskan Border. This condition has been maintained throughout considerable additional phases of faulting and folding from mid-Cretaceous to the present. Previously, the Alaskan plate had been the northwestern nose of the North America plate. The interplate suture was deflected to the north as the Canadian Shield was approached. The Kaltag fault continued northeastward 2000 km seaward of the Sverdrup rim, northwest of the Canadian Arctic Island, and north of Greenland. The driving force was directed from the southwest by the Eurasian plate after its collision in Early Cretaceous (Hauterivian) with the North American plate and the docking of north-moving exotic terranes from the Pacific. During the early Tertiary, perhaps in concert with the accretion of the Okhotsk block to the Asian plate north of Japan, the northern Pacific subduction zone jumped southward to the Aleutian Arc where it has persisted until today. A distance of 800 km separates the stable shelf of the Canadian craton, at the Alberta Foothills thrust belt, from the subduction zone off Vancouver Island. The foreland thrust belt and the accretion of exotic terranes in Mesozoic and Tertiary times extended the continental crust of the North American plate westward to the present active transform margin with the Pacific plate along the Queen Charlotte fault zone.

  1. Environmental measurements in the Beaufort Sea, Spring 1988. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Wen, T.; Felton, W.J.; Luby, J.C.; Fox, W.L.; Kientz, K.L.

    1989-03-01

    This report presents environmental data taken in the spring of 1988: Ice camp APLIS was established and maintained by personnel from the Applied Physics Lab. Univ. of Washington, to support Navy-sponsored research and test activities conducted in ICEX 1-88. The environmental data - weather, floe drift, CTD profiles, ice properties, and underwater noise - were gathered primarily to support the analysis of acoustic data obtained by ICEX 1-88 participants. The camp was established on a multiyear floe approximately 350 km north of Prudhoe Bay. The floe was occupied for seven weeks and evacuated on 25 April upon successful completion of test and research objectives. During the period, the floe drifted westward 155 km, driven mainly by the wind. A small amount of rotation accompanied the drift. The camp was established at the edge of a refrozen lead. Multiyear pressure ridges and rubble fields surrounded the lead and the camp. Weather information on air temperature and pressure and on wind direction and speed was recorded several times daily. Many of the research activities at the ice camp involved underwater acoustic propagation. Underwater ambient noise affected the quality of the acoustic data gathered. Sources of the noise included thermal cracking of the ice, ridging, wind-generated waves at open leads, and biological organisms.

  2. Arctic Oil Spill Response Guide for the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-03-01

    any substance that can be burned to produce heat. Some- times includes materials that can be fissioned in a chain reaction to produce heat. Gravel...Gard Boom .......................... 4-45 4.3.8.3 SWEPI Fire Containment Boom with Chain Link Outer Cover.and no Skirt .......... 4-46 4.3.8.4 3M...fabric with Kevlar tension members and 3/4" chain ballast. The flotation chambers on this boom must be inflated with air prior to deployment. Due to its

  3. 1981 Beaufort Sea Current Records: A Data Report. Volume I.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-06-01

    20154 13. 31. 23 34. -1.73 04/09/91 21:09 35. 35. 45 50. -1.7304/09/81 21124 57. 39. 55 70. -1.73 04/09/81 21:39 69. 37. 61 79. -1.7304/09/81 2154 91...1.55 04/14/81 20:39 -34. -4. 262 35. -1.55 04/14/81 20154 -27. -11. 248 29. -1.55 04/14/81 21:09 -30. -12. 247 32. -1.55 04/14/91 21:24 -34. -13...81 20:09 -85. 17. 281 87. -1.70 04/19/81 20:24 -88. 25. 296 92. -1.7004/19/81 ൜,39 -97. 16. 279 98. -1.70 04/19/81 20154 -95. 17. 290 97. -1.7004/19

  4. New evidence for ice shelf flow across the Alaska and Beaufort margins, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engels, Jennifer L.

    The Arctic Ocean may act as a lynchpin for global climate change due to its unique physiography as a mediterranean sea located in polar latitudes. In our modern warming climate, debate over the bounds of natural versus anthropogenically-induced climate variability necessitates a comprehensive understanding of Arctic ice extent and configuration over the last interglacial cycle. Longstanding controversy exists as to the volume, timing, and flow trajectories of ice in the Arctic Ocean during glacial maxima when continental ice sheets mantled circum-arctic landmasses. As a result of the Science Ice Exercise surveys of the Arctic Ocean in 1999, new evidence for ice grounding at depths down to 980 m on the Lomonosov Ridge and 750 m on the Chukchi Borderland indicates the likelihood that large ice shelves flowed into the ocean from both the Barents/Kara Sea and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago or eastern Alaska. Sidescan imagery of ˜14100 km2 of seafloor along the Alaska and Beaufort margins in water depths from 250--2800 m maps a repetitive association of recognizable sub-glacially generated bedforms, ice carved-bathymerry, and ice-marginal turbidite gullies over a 640 km stretch of the margin between Point Barrow and the MacKenzie River delta. Glaciogenic bedforms occur across the surface of a flattened bathymetric bench or 'second shelf break' that is interpreted to have been formed by an ice shelf eroding the continental slope. The glacial geology of surrounding areas suggests that an ice shelf on the Alaska and Beaufort margins likely flowed from the mouths of overdeepened glacial troughs in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago westward and across the Chukchi Borderland due to an obstruction in the central Canadian basin. Evidence for an ice shelf along the Alaska and Beaufort margins supports an expanded interpretation of ice volume and extent during Pleistocene glacial periods. This has far-reaching implications for Arctic climate studies, ocean circulation, sediment

  5. 77 FR 45247 - Drawbridge Operation Regulations; Gallants Channel, Beaufort, NC

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-31

    ... operation of the US 70 (Grayden Paul) Bridge, at mile 0.1, over Gallants Channel, at Beaufort, NC. The... out in 33 CFR 117.823, the draw of the US 70 (Grayden Paul) Bridge, at mile 0.1, over Gallants Channel... the closed position to vessels, the US 70 (Grayden Paul) Bridge has a vertical clearance of 13...

  6. Determining volume sensitive waters in Beaufort County, SC tidal creeks

    Treesearch

    Andrew Tweel; Denise Sanger; Anne Blair; John Leffler

    2016-01-01

    Non-point source pollution from stormwater runoff associated with large-scale land use changes threatens the integrity of ecologically and economically valuable estuarine ecosystems. Beaufort County, SC implemented volume-based stormwater regulations on the rationale that if volume discharge is controlled, contaminant loading will also be controlled.

  7. The Beaufort Gyre intensification and stabilization: A model-observation synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jinlun; Steele, Michael; Runciman, Kay; Dewey, Sarah; Morison, James; Lee, Craig; Rainville, Luc; Cole, Sylvia; Krishfield, Richard; Timmermans, Mary-Louise; Toole, John

    2016-11-01

    A model-observation synthesis is conducted to investigate changes in the upper ocean circulation and stratification in the Canada Basin [CB] of the Arctic Ocean. Results show that the Beaufort Gyre [BG] has been generally intensifying during 1992-2015 in conjunction with changes in sea ice and the upper ocean including increasing sea surface height [SSH], sea ice and ocean speed, Ekman transport convergence and downwelling, and freshwater content, decreasing ice thickness and upper ocean salinity, shoaling summer halocline and mixed layer, and deepening winter halocline and mixed layer. Increasing Ekman transport convergence draws more water from surrounding areas into the CB, thus lowering SSH in those areas and raising SSH in the CB. The rate of change in the CB began to decrease in 2008 and the BG circulation appears to be stabilizing, if not relaxing slightly. This is reflected in the general plateauing of SSH, the intensity of the sea ice and ocean circulation, and various measures of the CB thermohaline stratification. The BG intensification and subsequent stabilization appear to have been strongly controlled by atmospheric changes in the CB characterized by generally increasing anticyclonic wind circulation and sea level pressure (SLP) before 2008 and falling wind strength and SLP to below-average levels in some years after 2008. Changes in SLP are highly correlated with changes in ocean surface stress curl and downwelling. Since 2008, the magnitude of the stress curl and downwelling in much of the CB has declined, contributing to BG stabilization. The general leveling-off of sea ice thickness also contributes to the stabilization by limiting melt water input to the CB that increases freshwater content. Temperatures in the Near Surface Temperature Maximum layer trended upward slightly over 1992-2015, which is closely correlated with decreasing sea ice thickness. Upper ocean heat content increased over the study period mainly due to strong temperature

  8. Circulation and Convection in the Irminger Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-01

    eastern Atlantic Ocean: From the subpolar gyre, via plankton, to blue whiting and pilot whales . Progress in Oceanography 80: 149–162, doi:10.1016/J.POCEAN...2004. Shelfbreak circulation in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea: Mean structure and variability. Journal of Geophysical Research 109: C04 024, doi:10.1029

  9. Decadal shifts in autumn migration timing by Pacific Arctic beluga whales are related to delayed annual sea ice formation.

    PubMed

    Hauser, Donna D W; Laidre, Kristin L; Stafford, Kathleen M; Stern, Harry L; Suydam, Robert S; Richard, Pierre R

    2016-12-21

    Migrations are often influenced by seasonal environmental gradients that are increasingly being altered by climate change. The consequences of rapid changes in Arctic sea ice have the potential to affect migrations of a number of marine species whose timing is temporally matched to seasonal sea ice cover. This topic has not been investigated for Pacific Arctic beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) that follow matrilineally maintained autumn migrations in the waters around Alaska and Russia. For the sympatric Eastern Chukchi Sea ('Chukchi') and Eastern Beaufort Sea ('Beaufort') beluga populations, we examined changes in autumn migration timing as related to delayed regional sea ice freeze-up since the 1990s, using two independent data sources (satellite telemetry data and passive acoustics) for both populations. We compared dates of migration between 'early' (1993-2002) and 'late' (2004-2012) tagging periods. During the late tagging period, Chukchi belugas had significantly delayed migrations (by 2 to >4 weeks, depending on location) from the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Spatial analyses also revealed that departure from Beaufort Sea foraging regions by Chukchi whales was postponed in the late period. Chukchi beluga autumn migration timing occurred significantly later as regional sea ice freeze-up timing became later in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering seas. In contrast, Beaufort belugas did not shift migration timing between periods, nor was migration timing related to freeze-up timing, other than for southward migration at the Bering Strait. Passive acoustic data from 2008 to 2014 provided independent and supplementary support for delayed migration from the Beaufort Sea (4 day yr(-1) ) by Chukchi belugas. Here, we report the first phenological study examining beluga whale migrations within the context of their rapidly transforming Pacific Arctic ecosystem, suggesting flexible responses that may enable their persistence yet also complicate predictions of how

  10. New sedimentological evidence supporting a catastrophic meltwater discharge event along the Beaufort margin, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klotsko, S.; Driscoll, N. W.; Keigwin, L. D.; Mendenhall, B.

    2015-12-01

    In 2013, a cruise on the USCGC Healy mapped the Beaufort margin from Barrow, AK into the Amundsen Gulf using a towed CHIRP subbottom profiler and a hull-mounted Knudsen CHIRP subbottom profiler to study the deglaciation of the margin. Sediment cores were also acquired. New grain size analyses for three sediment cores will be presented. These records help constrain the flooding events captured in the existing grain size data from JPC 15, just east of the Mackenzie trough. This core shows evidence of multiple ice rafted debris events that were likely sourced from the retreat of the Amundsen ice stream. These layers have peaks in grain size around ~20 microns compared to the ~5 micron average for the rest of the core. The grain size peaks correlate to the high amplitude reflectors observed in the seismic CHIRP data. Similar reflectors are observed in the seismic data from two of the new core locations, one in the Mackenzie trough and one east of the trough. The seismic data from these stations also record a thick sediment package that is ~7 meters thick at its depocenter. This layer is interpreted to record a massive meltwater discharge event that entered the Arctic via the Mackenzie River. Oxygen isotope data from JPC 15 support an event at this location based on the covarying benthic and planktonic records. In our conceptual model, the pulses of freshwater from the Amundsen Gulf likely freshened the margin sufficiently that the major discharge event was then able to push the system over the edge. This catastrophic glacial lake draining out the Mackenzie River into the Beaufort Sea and export out of the Arctic into the North Atlantic caused diminished meridional overturning circulation - slowing of the conveyor belt thermohaline circulation - which, in turn, potentially caused the Younger Dryas cold period.

  11. Behavior of bowhead whales of the Davis Strait and Bering/Beaufort stocks versus regional differences in human activities. Final report on Phase 2

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, G.W.; Davis, R.A.; Richardson, W.J.

    1991-07-01

    The objectives were to determine (1) whether there are differences in behavior between the Bering/Chukchi/Beaufort and the Davis Strait/Baffin Bay populations and (2), if so, whether the differences might be attributable to the long-term cumulative effects of exposure to the presumed greater amount of human activity in the former area. Phase 1 showed that there are some differences in behavior. The Phase 2 report documents the relative amounts of human activity in the two areas in 1974-86, and evaluates whether regional differences in whale behavior and in human activities may be related. Activities considered include bowhead hunting and other subsistence activities, commercial fishing and shipping, marine seismic exploration, offshore oil exploration, and low-level aircraft flights. Bering/Beaufort bowheads were subjected to at least 3-5 times as much human activity in 1974-86. Most differences in behavior between the two stocks were better explained by environmental or biological factors than by disturbance. However, for bowheads migrating in autumn, regional differences in behavior may be related to the whaling that occurs in the Beaufort Sea in autumn.

  12. Vertical Structure and Dynamics of the Beaufort Gyre Subsurface Layer from ADCP Obervations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, D. J.; Krishfield, R. A.; Proshutinsky, A. Y.; Timmermans, M. L. E.

    2014-12-01

    As part of the Beaufort Gyre Observing System (BGOS), several Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) have been maintained at moorings in different locations in the Canada Basin since 2005 to measure upper ocean velocities and sea ice motion. The ADCP data have been analyzed to better understand relationships among different components of forcing driving the sea ice and upper ocean layer including: winds, tides, and horizontal and vertical density gradients in the ocean. Specific attention is paid to data processing and analysis to separate inertial and tidal motions in these regions in the vicinity of the critical latitudes. In addition, we describe the dynamic characteristics of halocline eddies and estimate their kinetic energy and their role in the total energy balance in this region. Ice-Tethered Profiler (ITP) data are used in conjunction with the ADCP measurements to identify relationships between T-S and vertical velocity structures in the mixed layer and deeper. Seasonal and interannual variability in all parameters are also discussed and causes of observed changes are suggested.

  13. Vertical Structure and Dynamics of the Beaufort Gyre Subsurface Layer from Adcp Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, D. J.; Proshutinsky, A. Y.; Krishfield, R. A.; Timmermans, M. L.

    2016-02-01

    As part of the Beaufort Gyre Observing System (BGOS), several Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) have been maintained at moorings in different locations in the Canada Basin since 2005 to measure upper ocean velocities and sea ice motion. The ADCP data have been analyzed to better understand relationships among different components of forcing driving the sea ice and upper ocean layer including: winds, tides, and horizontal and vertical density gradients in the ocean. Specific attention is paid to data processing and analysis to separate inertial and tidal motions in these regions in the vicinity of the critical latitudes. In addition, we describe the dynamic characteristics of halocline eddies and estimate their kinetic energy and their role in the total energy balance in this region. Ice-Tethered Profiler (ITP) data are used in conjunction with the ADCP measurements to identify relationships between T-S and vertical velocity structures in the mixed layer and deeper. Comparisons of mixed layer depth (MLD) determined from ITPs and ADCPs show MLD can be determined from ADCP data. We also describe the relationship between the seasonal cycle of ice thickness and sub-surface ocean velocity and its implication in a changing climate.

  14. Sea Ice in the Chukchi Sea

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy encountered only small patches of sea ice in the Chukchi Sea during the final days collecting ocean data for the 2011 ICESCAPE mission. The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is a NASA shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research took place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  15. Sea ice as a tracer for circulation features associated with the Barrow area Bowhead whale feeding hotspot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okkonen, S. R.; Ashjian, C. J.; Campbell, R. G.

    2010-12-01

    Satellite images of sea ice distribution are used to provide synoptic illustrations of generalized wind-current regimes that promote favorable feeding conditions for Bowhead whales on the western Beaufort shelf near Barrow, Alaska. Images of grease ice and broken ice show convergences zones along the southern flank of Barrow Canyon and parallel to the Beaufort coast when winds are weak. When winds from the east are moderate-to-strong, these convergence zones are absent from the shelf.

  16. Description of the Pungo River formation in Beaufort County

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kimrey, Joel O.

    1965-01-01

    This report describes the lithology and stratigraphy of the Pungo River Formation that underlies part of Beaufort County, North Carolina. The formation contains potentially economic beds of phosphatic sand. It is composed of interbedded phosphatic clays, diatomaceous clays, phosphatic limestones, silty claystones, coquinas, calcareous clays, and phosphatic sands. The P2 0-, content of the phosphatic sands ranges up to a known maximum of about 21 percent of the raw core sample. The above materials usually occur in definite zones, or horizons, in the formation that may be traced laterally across the county.

  17. Sunlight, Sea Ice, and the Ice Albedo Feedback in a Changing Arctic Sea Ice Cover

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    and iv) onset dates of melt and freeze up. 4. Assess the magnitude of the contribution from ice -albedo feedback to the observed decrease of sea ice ...in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. 5. Relate solar heat input to the ice and ocean to surface, bottom, lateral, and internal melting of the ice ...concentration and melt and freeze up onset dates by i) examining the impact of the shift from multiyear to seasonal ice ; ii) determining heat absorbed in

  18. Optimizing Observations of Sea Ice Thickness and Snow Depth in the Arctic

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    high proportion of multi-year ice (MYI), such as north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Over much of the Beaufort Sea, Canada Basin and central...instrumented research aircraft to characterize annual changes in the thickness of sea ice, glaciers , and ice sheets. IceBridge bridges the gap in

  19. Optimizing Observations of Sea Ice Thickness and Snow Depth in the Arctic

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Over much of the Beaufort Sea, Canada Basin and central Arctic we find that the SR-derived snow depths are up...changes in the thickness of sea ice, glaciers , and ice sheets. These observations are critical for predicting the response of Earth’s polar ice to

  20. Natural Gas Hydrates in the Offshore Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin-Study of a Feasible Energy Source II

    SciTech Connect

    Majorowicz, J. A. Hannigan, P. K.

    2000-09-15

    In the offshore part of Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin depth of methane hydrate stability reaches more than 1.5 km. However, there are areas in the western part of the basin where there are no conditions of methane hydrate stability. Construction of the first contour maps displaying thickness of hydrate stability zones as well as hydrate stability zone thicknesses below permafrost in the offshore area, shows that these zones can reach 1200 m and 900 m, respectively. Depth to the base of ice-bearing relict permafrost under the sea (depth of the -1{sup o}C isotherm-ice-bearing permafrost base) and regional variations of geothermal gradient are the main controlling factors. Hydrostatic pressures in the upper 1500 m are the rule. History of methane hydrate stability zone is related mainly to the history of permafrost and it reached maximum depth in early Holocene. More recently, the permafrost and hydrate zone is diminishing because of sea transgression. Reevaluation of the location of possible gas hydrate occurrences is done from the analysis of well logs and other indicators in conjunction with knowledge of the hydrate stability zone. In the offshore Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin, methane hydrate occurs in 21 wells. Nine of these locations coincides with underlying conventional hydrocarbon occurrences. Previous analyses place some of the hydrate occurrences at greater depths than proposed for the methane hydrate-stability zone described in this study. Interpretation of geological cross sections and maps of geological sequences reveals that hydrates are occurring in the Iperk-Kugmallit sequence. Hydrate-gas contact zones, however, are possible in numerous situations. As there are no significant geological seals in the deeper part of the offshore basin (all hydrates are within Iperk), it is suggested that overlying permafrost and hydrate stability zone acted as the only trap for upward migrating gas during the last tens of thousand of years (i.e., Sangamonian to Holocene)

  1. Wintertime variability of the Beaufort gyre in the Arctic Ocean derived from CryoSat-2/SIRAL observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mizobata, Kohei; Watanabe, Eiji; Kimura, Noriaki

    2016-03-01

    We processed the sea surface height measured by the SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar)/Interferometric Radar Altimeter (SIRAL) on board CryoSat-2 (CS-2) and successfully estimated the monthly dynamic ocean topography (DOT) of the Arctic Ocean. The CS-2 monthly DOT showed the interannual and monthly variability of the Beaufort Gyre (BG) during winter between 2010/2011 and 2014/2015. The northward flow at the western edge of the BG was primarily estimated over the Chukchi Borderland (CBL). However, the BG extended across the CBL, and the northward flow was estimated over the Mendeleev Ridge in the winter of 2012/2013. Our analyses revealed a significantly variable BG in response to changes in the sea surface stress field. Our analysis indicated that (1) sea ice motion, driven by wind fields, acts as a driving force for the BG when sea ice motion was intensified during winter and (2) sea ice motion can also act as an inhibiting force for the BG when sea ice motion is weakened during winter. In addition, the relationship between the DOT, steric height, and ocean bottom pressure implied that the DOT during winter responded to varying wind stresses through baroclinic and barotropic adjustments. According to a tracer experiment, we inferred that in the winter of 2012/2013, the Pacific-origin water carried into the BG through the Barrow Canyon was transported to the northern shelf and shelf break of the Chukchi Sea rather than the CBL, which is where the Pacific-origin water had been transported in the other years of the observation period.

  2. Mass Balance of Multiyear Sea Ice in the Southern Beaufort Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    date Geophysical data type Source Time period acquired Buoy tracks IABP 12 hrly position data 1978-2012 Ice thickness SIZONet April campaigns 2009...addition to acquiring the data files, we have also been assembling related metadata. In the case of the IABP data, we have started creating a database

  3. Mass Balance of Multiyear Sea Ice in the Southern Beaufort Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    2 Table 2: Datasets compiled to date Geophysical data type Source Time period acquired Buoy tracks IABP 12 hrly position data 1978-2012 Ice...concentratio NSIDC 1978-present In addition to acquiring the data files, we have also been assembling related metadata. In the case of the IABP data

  4. Mass Balance of Multiyear Sea Ice in the Southern Beaufort Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    Petty et al. We will extend these results by combining them with satelite -derived ice age data (Maslanik et al., 2007) to focus on the areal...from buoys and satelites with thickness data from AEM surveys, while for the repeat- Figure 1: “Pseudo-plumes” of icepass analysis we are also using

  5. Atmospheric Profiles, Clouds and the Evolution of Sea Ice Cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    the folding wing BAE Coyote . The sensing and avionics system on the DataHawk will be adapted to a folding-wing airframe that can be deployed from...will contribute to technology development by adapting and deploying a new generation of truly expendable (<$700) micro-aerial vehicles (Data Hawk and...OBJECTIVES The main objective of the University of Colorado portion of the project is to adapt an existing low cost, expendable small unmanned

  6. The Chemical and Structural Properties of Sea Ice in the Southern Beaufort Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-12-01

    matrices based on ice type for core S186 .... 40 6. Summary of factor analysis results based on ice type for core S186 .................. 41 7. Summary...41 8. Summary of factor analysis results based on ice type for core S186 for major elem en ts...42 10. Summary of factor analysis results based on ice type for core S186 for nutrients 42 11. Summary of correlation coefficient matrices

  7. Atmospheric Profiles, Clouds and the Evolution of Sea Ice Cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    a drop or balloon sonde, which is low cost but cannot be guided, and a typical UAV, which provides guidance flexibility but uses costly avionics and...by incorporating the proposed IR sensors and ground­sky temperature difference algorithm into a tethered balloon borne payload (Figure 6).This...ceilometer was used to provide a cloud base reference measurement, as well as visual markings of altitudes where the balloon and its payload disappeared

  8. The role of atmospheric synoptic conditions in the Beaufort and Chukchi seasonal ice zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Z.; Schweiger, A. J. B.

    2015-12-01

    How atmosphere and sea ice interact depends on the prevailing weather. Synoptic activities transport energy and moisture into the Arctic and modify the structure of the atmosphere, cloud conditions, and the surface energy budget over sea ice. The structure of the atmosphere, such as temperature inversions and specific humidity inversions are critical for the life cycle of Arctic clouds. Cloud radiative heating is an important component of the Arctic surface energy budget. The differences in the structure of the atmosphere, clouds, and the radiation balance at the surface under different synoptic conditions will determine which processes will govern the interaction between the atmosphere and clouds. In this study, dominant synoptic types over the Beaufort and Chukchi seasonal ice zone (BCSIZ) are identified using the ERA-Interim reanalysis data sets and a k-mean clustering synoptic classification algorithm. The synoptic classification algorithm categorizes individual weather events in the atmospheric reanalysis into four synoptic types with distinct signatures in baroclinicity and temperature advection. The typical structure of the atmosphere in ERA-Interim is determined for each synoptic type. In particular the structure of the summer atmosphere across the ice edge along 150°W and 140°W longitude will be the analyzed and evaluated with observations obtained from the Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Survey (SIZRS). Cloud conditions and cloud radiative forcings at the surface under different synoptic conditions are determined using satellite observations, from MODIS, CloudSat, and Calipso, and modeled clouds in reanalysis. The influence of synoptic conditions on the structure of atmosphere and cloud through heat and moisture transport is explored and the consequent effects on the surface energy budget in BCSIZ are assessed.

  9. Ecological characteristics of core-use areas used by Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort (BCB) bowhead whales, 2006-2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citta, John J.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Okkonen, Stephen R.; Druckenmiller, Matthew L.; Maslowski, Wieslaw; Clement-Kinney, Jaclyn; George, John C.; Brower, Harry; Small, Robert J.; Ashjian, Carin J.; Harwood, Lois A.; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter

    2015-08-01

    The Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort (BCB) population of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) ranges across the seasonally ice-covered waters of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas. We used locations from 54 bowhead whales, obtained by satellite telemetry between 2006 and 2012, to define areas of concentrated use, termed "core-use areas". We identified six primary core-use areas and describe the timing of use and physical characteristics (oceanography, sea ice, and winds) associated with these areas. In spring, most whales migrated from wintering grounds in the Bering Sea to the Cape Bathurst polynya, Canada (Area 1), and spent the most time in the vicinity of the halocline at depths <75 m, which are within the euphotic zone, where calanoid copepods ascend following winter diapause. Peak use of the polynya occurred between 7 May and 5 July; whales generally left in July, when copepods are expected to descend to deeper depths. Between 12 July and 25 September, most tagged whales were located in shallow shelf waters adjacent to the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, Canada (Area 2), where wind-driven upwelling promotes the concentration of calanoid copepods. Between 22 August and 2 November, whales also congregated near Point Barrow, Alaska (Area 3), where east winds promote upwelling that moves zooplankton onto the Beaufort shelf, and subsequent relaxation of these winds promoted zooplankton aggregations. Between 27 October and 8 January, whales congregated along the northern shore of Chukotka, Russia (Area 4), where zooplankton likely concentrated along a coastal front between the southeastward-flowing Siberian Coastal Current and northward-flowing Bering Sea waters. The two remaining core-use areas occurred in the Bering Sea: Anadyr Strait (Area 5), where peak use occurred between 29 November and 20 April, and the Gulf of Anadyr (Area 6), where peak use occurred between 4 December and 1 April; both areas exhibited highly fractured sea ice. Whales near the Gulf of Anadyr spent almost

  10. The role of water vapor and its associated latent heating in extreme Beaufort coastal storm surge events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gyakum, J. R.; Small, D. L.; Atallah, E.; Liu, N.; Kuo, Y.

    2009-12-01

    During the rather limited ice-free season that typically may occur from late July through early October, the Beaufort Sea region is susceptible to extreme windstorms, many of which produce damaging storm surges to low-lying coastal communities. During the most recent years, the ice-free season has lengthened, suggesting an increased vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclogenesis-related windstorms. Therefore, our research focuses on the dynamic and thermodynamic mechanisms responsible for significant surface wind events during the ice-free season in this region. We demonstrate that these storm surge events are often associated with the generation of large-scale atmospheric circulation regomes conducive to North American droughts. Our analysis methodology includes the detailed synoptic-dynamic analysis, including numerical experiments, on a case of an especially long-lived extreme storm surge that occurred in September 1999. We utilize conventional surface and upper-air station data, along with satellite and ground-based water vapor data. We also utilize global and regional reanalysis data to document the synoptic-scale and mesoscale environments associated with the cyclogenesis events. Our numerical experiments with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model include sensitivity testing with COSMIC-derived water vapor data, and sensitivity tests to illustrate the relative roles that latent heating plays in the storm surge event, at various stages in its lifecycle. A particularly important finding of our research on the devastating September 1999 storm surge event is that a relatively rare case of explosive cyclogenesis in the Gulf of Alaska is a key player in this Beaufort storm surge. The deep-tropospheric latent heating during the explosive cyclogenesis generates a dynamic tropopause ridge. This ridge in turn induces surface ridging that contributes to the strong west-northwesterlies associated with the storm surge. This generation of the dynamic

  11. Mechanism of seasonal Arctic sea ice evolution and Arctic amplification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Kwang-Yul; Hamlington, Benjamin D.; Na, Hanna; Kim, Jinju

    2016-09-01

    Sea ice loss is proposed as a primary reason for the Arctic amplification, although the physical mechanism of the Arctic amplification and its connection with sea ice melting is still in debate. In the present study, monthly ERA-Interim reanalysis data are analyzed via cyclostationary empirical orthogonal function analysis to understand the seasonal mechanism of sea ice loss in the Arctic Ocean and the Arctic amplification. While sea ice loss is widespread over much of the perimeter of the Arctic Ocean in summer, sea ice remains thin in winter only in the Barents-Kara seas. Excessive turbulent heat flux through the sea surface exposed to air due to sea ice reduction warms the atmospheric column. Warmer air increases the downward longwave radiation and subsequently surface air temperature, which facilitates sea surface remains to be free of ice. This positive feedback mechanism is not clearly observed in the Laptev, East Siberian, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas, since sea ice refreezes in late fall (November) before excessive turbulent heat flux is available for warming the atmospheric column in winter. A detailed seasonal heat budget is presented in order to understand specific differences between the Barents-Kara seas and Laptev, East Siberian, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas.

  12. The Seasonal Evolution of Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. “The Seasonal Evolution of Sea Ice Floe Size Distribution...This work was motivated by the desire to improve the understanding of processes governing the evolution of the marginal ice zone that forms...seasonally in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi Seas region. OBJECTIVES The objective of this work was to determine the seasonal evolution of the

  13. Sea Ice Patterns

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    On July 20, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy steamed south in the Arctic Ocean toward the edge of the sea ice. The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is a NASA shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research took place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  14. MITAS-2009 Expedition, U.S. Beaufort Shelf and Slope—Lithostratigraphy Data Report

    SciTech Connect

    Rose, K.; Johnson, J.E.; Phillips, S.C.; Smith, J.; Reed, A.; Disenhof, C.; Presley, J.

    2012-09-17

    The volume of methane released through the Arctic Ocean to the atmosphere and its potential role in the global climate cycle have increasingly become the focus of studies seeking to understand the source and origin of this methane. In 2009, an international, multi-disciplinary science party aboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Sea successfully completed a trans-U.S. Beaufort Shelf expedition aimed at understanding the sources and volumes of methane across this region. Following more than a year of preliminary cruise planning and a thorough site evaluation, the Methane in the Arctic Shelf/Slope (MITAS) expedition departed from the waters off the coast of Barrow, Alaska in September 2009. The expedition was organized with an international shipboard science team consisting of 33 scientists with the breadth of expertise necessary to meet the expedition goals. NETL researchers led the expedition’s initial core processing and lithostratigraphic evaluations, which are the focus of this report. This data report is focused on the lithostratigraphic datasets from the recovered vibra cores and piston cores. Operational information about the piston and vibra cores such as date acquired, core name, total length, water depth, and geographic location is provided. Once recovered, gas samples were immediately collected from cores. In addition, each core was run through the Geotek multi-sensor core logger for magnetic susceptibility, P-wave velocity, resistivity, and gamma-density measurements (Rose et al., 2010). After the samples and measurements were completed, the cores were split into working and archive halves. Visual core descriptions of the archive half was completed for each core. Samples for shipboard smear slides, coarse fractions, and XRD analyses were collected, as well as corresponding samples for post-cruise grain size analysis from the working half of each core. Line scan images of the split core surfaces were collected post-expedition. The methods used to

  15. Tectonic Framework of the Beaufort-Mackenzie Margin, Canadian Arctic Ocean, from Integrated Deep Seismic and Potential-Field Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helwig, J. A.; Bird, D. E.; Kumar, N.; Emmet, P. A.; Dinkelman, M.

    2012-12-01

    A five-year long, ION ArcticSPAN seismic survey program in the Canadian Beaufort Sea expands and elaborates the tectonic framework of the Canada Basin passive margin. The margin is clearly subdivided into three segments of different orientation and structure: 1) the overprinted Cordilleran-Beaufort Foldbelt segment trending west towards Alaska; 2) the transtensional Tuk segment trending northeast off the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula; and 3) the extensional Banks segment trending north off Banks Island. From nearshore to 2500 m depth, over 20,000 km of 2D long-offset data were acquired and processed into 40 km deep PSDM profiles. The latest lines used special technology for shooting beneath first-year ice-covered areas, and 450 km of OBC data were acquired in the nearshore transition zone. From well control in the Mackenzie Delta area, a geological interpretation is extended into the late Jurassic to Recent passive margin stratigraphy as well as the varying underlying crust of both oceanic affinity, and Ellesmerian and Laurentian continental affinities. Major elements of a tectonic synthesis include: 1) deep profiles show the Tertiary detached Beaufort foldbelt overlies greatly extended continental and/or oceanic crust although the COB is obscured by the overprint; 2) oceanic crust with steep relief is found at the inferred junction of the extinct spreading center of the Canada Basin in the Mackenzie delta; 3) on the Tuk margin, thick Proterozoic and Paleozoic strata flanking the Laurentian craton are terminated at the COB by a transform fault system; and 4) architecture of the Banks segment includes late Jurassic rift structure, and a continent-ocean transition beneath the continental slope prism that includes gravitational folds down-dip of shallower extensional break-away faults and rollover folds in the Tertiary. Our tectonic framework is consistent with a rotational model for opening of the Canada Basin. The free air gravity field is dominated by a high

  16. Tundra burning in 2007 - Did sea ice retreat matter?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexeev, Vladimir A.; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Cherry, Jessica E.; Busey, Robert C.

    2015-06-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the importance of the 2007 sea ice retreat for hydrologic conditions on the Alaskan North Slope, and how this may have influenced the outbreak of tundra fires in this region. This study concentrates on two years, 2007 and 1996, with different arctic sea ice conditions and tundra fire activity. The year of 2007 is characterized by a low summer sea ice extent (second lowest) and high tundra fire activity, while 1996 had high sea ice extent, and few tundra fires. Atmospheric lateral boundary forcing from the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis drove the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model, along with varying sea ice surface forcing designed to delineate the role of sea ice. WRF runs successfully reproduced the differences between 1996 and 2007. Surprisingly, replacing sea ice conditions in 1996 run by those from 2007 and vice versa (2007 run with 1996 sea ice) did not change the overall picture. The atmospheric circulation in August of 1996 included a significant low-pressure system over the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. However, in 2007, a high-pressure system dominated the circulation over the Beaufort Sea. It is argued that this difference in large-scale patterns, rather than retreat of sea ice, was responsible for anomalously dry and warm atmospheric conditions over the North Slope in summer and autumn 2007, suitable for high tundra fire activity. Circulation in 2012 is contrasted with that in 2007 to further stress its importance for local weather on the North Slope.

  17. Comparing the theoretical versions of the Beaufort scale, the T-Scale and the Fujita scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meaden, G. Terence; Kochev, S.; Kolendowicz, L.; Kosa-Kiss, A.; Marcinoniene, Izolda; Sioutas, Michalis; Tooming, Heino; Tyrrell, John

    2007-02-01

    2005 is the bicentenary of the Beaufort Scale and its wind-speed codes: the marine version in 1805 and the land version later. In the 1920s when anemometers had come into general use, the Beaufort Scale was quantified by a formula based on experiment. In the early 1970s two tornado wind-speed scales were proposed: (1) an International T-Scale based on the Beaufort Scale; and (2) Fujita's damage scale developed for North America. The International Beaufort Scale and the T-Scale share a common root in having an integral theoretical relationship with an established scientific basis, whereas Fujita's Scale introduces criteria that make its intensities non-integral with Beaufort. Forces on the T-Scale, where T stands for Tornado force, span the range 0 to 10 which is highly useful world wide. The shorter range of Fujita's Scale (0 to 5) is acceptable for American use but less convenient elsewhere. To illustrate the simplicity of the decimal T-Scale, mean hurricane wind speed of Beaufort 12 is T2 on the T-Scale but F1.121 on the F-Scale; while a tornado wind speed of T9 (= B26) becomes F4.761. However, the three wind scales can be uni-fied by either making F-Scale numbers exactly half the magnitude of T-Scale numbers [i.e. F'half = T / 2 = (B / 4) - 4] or by doubling the numbers of this revised version to give integral equivalence with the T-Scale. The result is a decimal formula F'double = T = (B / 2) - 4 named the TF-Scale where TF stands for Tornado Force. This harmonious 10-digit scale has all the criteria needed for world-wide practical effectiveness.

  18. Polar bear aerial survey in the eastern Chukchi Sea: A pilot study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Evans, Thomas J.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Schliebe, Scott L.; Manly, Bryan; Kalxdorff, Susanne B.; York, Geoff S.

    2003-01-01

    Alaska has two polar bear populations: the Southern Beaufort Sea population, shared with Canada, and the Chukchi/Bering Seas population, shared with Russia. Currently a reliable population estimate for the Chukchi/Bering Seas population does not exist. Land-based aerial and mark-recapture population surveys may not be possible in the Chukchi Sea because variable ice conditions, the limited range of helicopters, extremely large polar bear home ranges, and severe weather conditions may limit access to remote areas. Thus line-transect aerial surveys from icebreakers may be the best available tool to monitor this polar bear stock. In August 2000, a line-transect survey was conducted in the eastern Chukchi Sea and western Beaufort Sea from helicopters based on a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker under the "Ship of Opportunity" program. The objectives of this pilot study were to estimate polar bear density in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas and to assess the logistical feasibility of using ship-based aerial surveys to develop polar bear population estimates. Twenty-nine polar bears in 25 groups were sighted on 94 transects (8257 km). The density of bears was estimated as 1 bear per 147 km² (CV = 38%). Additional aerial surveys in late fall, using dedicated icebreakers, would be required to achieve the number of sightings, survey effort, coverage, and precision needed for more effective monitoring of population trends in the Chukchi Sea.

  19. The influence of the Mackenzie River plume on distribution and diversity of marine larval fish assemblages on the Canadian Beaufort Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Sally; Walkusz, Wojciech; Hanson, Mark; Papst, Michael H.

    2013-11-01

    In the Beaufort Sea, freshwater input from the Mackenzie River creates a relatively warm and turbid plume across the coastal shelf region. To determine the influence of this plume on marine larval fish abundance, distribution, and assemblages, we sampled larval fish during July and August of 2007 using 500 μm bongo nets on transects across the plume gradient at three sampling stations per transect, along with oceanographic measurements. Three larval fish assemblages were identified within three distinct oceanographic zones: intense plume, diffuse plume and oceanic. The intense plume assemblage was dominated by Saffron cod (Eleginus gracilis) and Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii); the diffuse plume assemblage was dominated by the Pricklebacks (sub-family Lumpeninae); and the oceanic assemblage was dominated by Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida). Even though there were differences in relative abundance of particular species among these areas, no significant differences in total abundances of larval fish were found.

  20. Coordinated Mapping of Sea Ice Deformation Features with Autonomous Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maksym, T.; Williams, G. D.; Singh, H.; Weissling, B.; Anderson, J.; Maki, T.; Ackley, S. F.

    2016-12-01

    Decreases in summer sea ice extent in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas has lead to a transition from a largely perennial ice cover, to a seasonal ice cover. This drives shifts in sea ice production, dynamics, ice types, and thickness distribution. To examine how the processes driving ice advance might also impact the morphology of the ice cover, a coordinated ice mapping effort was undertaken during a field campaign in the Beaufort Sea in October, 2015. Here, we present observations of sea ice draft topography from six missions of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle run under different ice types and deformation features observed during autumn freeze-up. Ice surface features were also mapped during coordinated drone photogrammetric missions over each site. We present preliminary results of a comparison between sea ice surface topography and ice underside morphology for a range of sample ice types, including hummocked multiyear ice, rubble fields, young ice ridges and rafts, and consolidated pancake ice. These data are compared to prior observations of ice morphological features from deformed Antarctic sea ice. Such data will be useful for improving parameterizations of sea ice redistribution during deformation, and for better constraining estimates of airborne or satellite sea ice thickness.

  1. Sea ice response to an extreme negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation during winter 2009/2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroeve, J. C.; Maslanik, J. A.; Serreze, M. C.; Rigor, I. G.; Meier, W.

    2010-12-01

    An extreme negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) characterized winter 2009/2010, leading to a strong Beaufort Gyre, a weak Transpolar Drift Stream (TDS), and near normal ice flow out of Fram Strait. In term of impacts on ice transport, autumn and winter of 2009/2010 saw above-average ice transport from north of the Canadian Archipelago westward into the eastern Beaufort and western Chukchi seas (Figure 1). Ice originating from this location is some of the oldest and thickest in the Arctic. Typically, ice that forms within, or drifts into, the Beaufort Gyre may circulate within the Canada Basin for several years, becoming thicker with time. Eventually, the thick ice enters the TDS and exits the Arctic through Fram Strait. A stronger Beaufort Gyre, as tends to accompany the negative phase of the AO, should therefore foster the development of older, thicker ice that survives summer melt, meaning more ice in September. However, a key aspect of the 2009/2010 winter transport pattern is that the winds drove the older ice directly across the Beaufort into the Chukchi Sea, as opposed to curving northward in the western Beaufort. Heading into the 2010 melt season we then had the situation where more MYI was present in the Chukchi and southern Beaufort seas than in recent years. A priori, this thicker ice should have had a better chance of surviving summer melt and thus replenished the overall MYI extent. However,by the end of August, most of the old ice transported into these regions had disappeared, further depleting the Arctic's store of old, thick ice. Ice extent in June and July set new record lows, whereas August was the second lowest ice extent during the satellite era. September ice extent ended up as the third lowest. Total areal ice transport across five gates (see inset map) in the western Beaufort (WB), eastern Beaufort (EB), western end of the region north of the Canadian Archipelago (CA) (all three positive for westward transport), Fram Strait (Fram

  2. Variations of the abundance and nucleic acid content of heterotrophic bacteria in Beaufort Shelf waters during winter and spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belzile, Claude; Brugel, Sonia; Nozais, Christian; Gratton, Yves; Demers, Serge

    2008-12-01

    Depth profiles of heterotrophic bacteria abundance were measured weekly over a 6-month period from December to May in Franklin Bay, a 230 m-deep coastal Arctic Ocean site of the southeastern Beaufort Sea. Total bacteria, low nucleic acid (LNA) and high nucleic acid (HNA) bacteria abundances were measured using flow cytometry after SYBR Green I staining. The HNA bacteria abundance in surface waters started to increase 5-6 weeks after phytoplankton growth resumed in spring, increasing from 1 × 10 5 to 3 × 10 5 cells mL - 1 over an 8-week period, with a net growth rate of 0.018 d - 1 . LNA bacteria response was delayed by more than two months relative to the beginning of the phytoplankton biomass accumulation and had a lower net growth rate of 0.013 d - 1 . The marked increase in bacterial abundance occurred before any significant increase in organic matter input from river discharge (as indicated by the unchanged surface water salinity and DOC concentrations), and in the absence of water temperature increase. The abundance of bacteria below the halocline was relatively high until January (up to 5 × 10 5 cells mL - 1 ) but then decreased to values close to 2 × 10 5 cells mL - 1 . The three-fold bacterial abundance increase observed in surface waters in spring was mostly due to HNA bacteria, supporting the idea that these cells are the most active.

  3. Re-evaluation of the diagnosis of porphyria cutanea tarda in Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort

    PubMed Central

    Peters, T J; Levell, N J

    2010-01-01

    Objectives Two biographies of Admiral Francis Beaufort (1774–1857) have stated that, aged 20–25 years, he suffered from porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT) that was ‘cured’ following severe blood loss during a naval skirmish. We have examined the evidence concerning the nature of his skin disease. Design Primary records, most notably Beaufort's correspondence with his family, his journals and his father's diaries were sought out and analysed. Setting This case report is discussed in the context of 18th-century naval medicine and concepts and treatment of skin disease. Results The description of his lesions, their age of onset, their progression and response to treatment, particularly topical tar and associated features are quite inconsistent with a diagnosis of PCT. His mother, Mary Waller Beaufort (1739–1821), consulted Dr Robert Darwin in 1803 about a painful skin disease affecting her legs. Detailed description of the lesions and a contemporary diagnosis are not available but possible diagnoses include chronic psoriasis and stasis eczema. Conclusions A more tenable diagnosis is that Francis Beaufort had chronic plaque psoriasis remitted by bed rest and convalescence in the sunny Mediterranean climate with cessation of alcohol consumption and improved nutrition as well as topical and oral medications. PMID:21103105

  4. Degrading permafrost and gas hydrate under the Beaufort Shelf and marine gas hydrate on the adjacent continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S. R.; Hughes Clarke, J. E.; Blasco, S.; Melling, H.; Lundsten, E.; Vagle, S.; Collett, T. S.

    2011-12-01

    The sub-seafloor under the Arctic Shelf is arguably the part of the Earth that is undergoing the most dramatic warming. In the southern Beaufort Sea, the shelf area was terrestrially exposed during much of the Quaternary period when sea level was ~120m lower than present. As a consequence, many areas are underlain by >600m of ice-bonded permafrost that conditions the geothermal regime such that the base of the methane hydrate stability can be >1000m deep. Marine transgression has imposed a change in mean annual surface temperature from -15°C or lower during periods of terrestrial exposure, to mean annual sea bottom temperatures near 0°C. The thermal disturbance caused by transgression is still influencing the upper km of subsurface sediments. Decomposition of gas hydrate is inferred to be occurring at the base and the top of the gas hydrate stability zone. As gas hydrate and permafrost intervals degrade, a range of processes occur that are somewhat unique to this setting. Decomposition of gas hydrate at depth can cause sediment weakening, generate excess pore water pressure, and form free gas. Similarly, thawing permafrost can cause thaw consolidation, liberate trapped gas bubbles in ice bonded permafrost. Understanding the connection between deep subsurface processes generated by transgression, surficial sediment processes near the seafloor, and gas flux into the ocean and atmosphere is important to assessing geohazard and environmental conditions in this setting. In contrast, conditions for marine gas hydrate formation occur on the adjacent continental slope below ~270m water depths. In this paper, we present field observations of gas venting from three geologically distinct environments in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, two on the shelf and one on the slope. A complimentary paper by Dallimore et al reviews the geothermal changes conditioning this environment. Vigorous methane venting is occurring over Pingo-Like-Features (PLF) on the mid-shelf. Diffuse venting of

  5. The dependence of Arctic cloud on the synoptic conditions in the Beaufort and Chukchi seasonal ice zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Z.; Schweiger, A. J. B.

    2016-12-01

    How atmosphere and sea ice interact depends on the prevailing weather. Synoptic activities transport energy and moisture into the Arctic and modify the structure of the atmosphere, cloud conditions, and the surface energy budget over sea ice. The structure of the atmosphere, such as temperature inversions and specific humidity inversions are critical for the life cycle of Arctic clouds. Cloud radiative heating is an important component of the Arctic surface energy budget. The differences in the structure of the atmosphere, clouds, and the radiation balance at the surface under different synoptic conditions will determine which processes will govern the interaction between the atmosphere and clouds. In this study, dominant synoptic states over the Beaufort and Chukchi seasonal ice zone (BCSIZ) are identified using the ERA-Interim reanalysis data sets and a k-mean clustering synoptic classification algorithm. The synoptic classification algorithm categorizes individual weather events in the atmospheric reanalysis into four synoptic states with distinct signatures in baroclinicity and temperature advection. Using the CloudSat/Calipso joint cloud mask, the cloud conditions of the four synoptic states in the BCSIZ are examined. The cloud fraction of the four states are significantly different at different levels, which are associated with differences in the lower tropospheric static stability and the abundance of moisture, especially in the middle and lower atmosphere. These differences are also captured by the ERA-Interim although the ERA-Interim greatly overestimates the low-level cloud fraction and underestimates cloud fraction higher up, which is partly due to the limitation of the joint CloudSat/Calipso cloud mask below 1 km. In addition, the seasonal cycle and horizontal distribution of cloud fraction and cloud radiative heating at surface are examined for the four synoptic states using the joint CloudSat/Calipso retrievals. Two versions of joint Cloud

  6. Seasonal movements of adult female polar bears in the Bering and Chukchi seas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garner, Gerald W.; Knick, Steven T.; Douglas, David C.

    1990-01-01

    Ten adult female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were fitted with satellite telemetry collars during March 1986 in the Kotzebue Sound area of the Chukchi Sea. During March-April 1987, 2 of these bears were refitted with satellite telemetry collars and an additional 10 adult females were collared in the northern Bering and eastern Chukchi seas. Data for 1,560 point locations recorded through May 1988 indicated that female polar bears in the Bering and Chukchi seas were resident in western Alaskan waters from November through March, then moved northward with the receding pack ice during April and May. They remained in the northern and northwestern Chukchi Sea during June through September, often adjacent to the Soviet coastline. Satellite telemetry data indicated that 4 females marked in Alaskan waters of the Chukchi Sea apparently denned in the vicinity of Wrangel Island during winter 1987/1988. Denning in American territory of bears marked in the Chukchi and Bering seas has not been documented using satellite telemetry data. Some polar bears moved from the Chukchi Sea into the western Beaufort Sea during summer and fall, then returned to the Chukchi and Bering seas the following winter. Movements of bears from the Chukchi Sea into the central or eastern Beaufort Sea were not documented through spring 1988. These data document that polar bears occuring in the Bering and Chukchi seas are shared internationally between the United States and the Soviet Union.

  7. Particulate matter in pack ice of the Beaufort Gyre

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, E.; Barnes, P.W.; Weber, W.S.

    1993-01-01

    Fine sediment occurred in very small patches of turbid ice, as thin spotty surface layers, in mud pellets or in old snowdrifts. The latter were widespread south of 74??N, containing an estimated 22 tonnes of silt and clay km-2. Average particle concentration in sea ice (40 mg1-1) was much higher than in sea water (0.8 mg 1 -1) or in new snow. Assuming one-third of the load is released each year, the estimated deposition rate would equal the measured Holocene rate (~2cm 1000 year-1). Therefore, modern sea-ice rafting represents a substantial fraction of the total Arctic Ocean sediment budget. -from Authors

  8. Interaction of oil with arctic sea ice

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, D.R.

    1983-02-01

    The purpose of the paper is to summarize relavant knowledge about the interactions between arctic sea ice and oil. The completion of further experimental oil spill studies, along with recent laboratory studies of the interaction of oil and sea ice and studies of environmental conditions, makes an updating of those works desirable. An attempt is made to identify the major factors in the interaction between oil and arctic sea ice and to present them in a way that defines the scope of the problem. Generally, the paper is restricted to factors that can be expected to play a major role in the sequence of events following a large under-ice blowout in the Beaufort Sea during winter.

  9. Coupling a Thermodynamic Sea Ice Model with WRF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krieger, J. R.; Zhang, J.

    2009-12-01

    Sea ice plays a significant role in shaping the atmospheric dynamics of the Arctic and surrounding regions through the modification of surface characteristics such as surface roughness, heat conductivity, and albedo. These in turn have both thermodynamic impacts on the surface heat budget and direct dynamic impacts on the low-level winds. In numerical atmospheric models, the accurate treatment of sea ice is therefore of critical importance in producing realistic simulations, not only on the global scale but at local and regional scales as well. However, sea ice is an often-neglected component of mesoscale meteorological models, many times being treated as just another land cover type without the sufficient complexity necessary to properly characterize its thermodynamic effects. To address this deficiency, we have recently coupled a thermodynamic sea ice model with the latest version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model in order to improve the latter's simulation of sea ice surface temperatures, and by extension its simulation of Arctic conditions as a whole. A series of case studies was performed in which results from the coupled and unmodified versions of WRF were compared to determine the efficacy of this approach in improving weather simulations along the Beaufort and Chukchi Sea coasts in northern Alaska. In addition to surface station data, observations made as part of the SHEBA and SEDNA field campaigns and by two buoys recently deployed in the Beaufort Sea were used to verify the model output.

  10. Spatial Variability of Land-Sea Carbon Exchange at a Coastal Area in Barrow, Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ikawa, H.; Oechel, W.; Hastings, S.

    2007-12-01

    Relatively cold and low salinity sea water of the Arctic Ocean was considered to be a sink for atmospheric CO2 (Takahashi et al., 1997) because the solubility of CO2 in seawater increases as temperature decreases, and the arctic sea water transports CO2 to greater depths. However, carbon exchange in the Arctic sea is not well evaluated yet, because available data is very limited (Semiletov et al., 2007). Also, terrestrial inflows, such as thawing permafrost and coastal erosion, also affect oceanic air-sea CO2 exchange especially in the Arctic (ACIA., 2004) creating a variety of regional carbon cycles (Semiletov et al., 2007). Our aim is to quantify an air-sea CO2 exchange of a spatially wide coastal sea area, in Barrow, Alaska and to extrapolate the future carbon cycle in response to climate change. Boat cruises for pCO2 measurements operated from July 29 to August 5, 2007. The surveyed area was mainly divided into three parts: Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Elson Lagoon. Conductivity of sea surface (CS) and sea surface temperature (SST) were also measured together with pCO2. The result showed distinct differences in pCO2 among three areas. Average delta pCO2 (dpCO2) (a difference between an atmospheric CO2 and pCO2), CS, and SST were -114.9 ppm, 47.0 mScm-1, and 8.0 C at Chukchi Sea, -53.1 ppm, 43.5 mScm-1, and 8.9 C at Beaufort Sea, and 43.7 ppm, 41.1 mScm-1, and 9.5 C at Elson Lagoon. Relatively high dpCO2 value in the Beaufort Sea implies a large terrestrial input from Elson Lagoon where dpCO2 value is positive. This is supported by lower CS in the Beaufort Sea and Elson Laggon than in the Chukchi Sea. Sea currents from Pacific Ocean, which continuously flow through the Chukchi Sea, are thought to carry warmer water. However, SST was lower in the Chukchi Sea than in the Beaufort Sea. This may be because a prevailing wind from north east creates Ekman transport causing an upwelling along the Chukchi Sea coast and this upwelling carries deep cold water to the

  11. Assimilating QuikSCAT SeaWinds With WRF Model for High Latitude Sea Breeze Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, X.; Zhang, J.; Krieger, J. R.; Morton, D. J.; Shulski, M. D.; Klene, A. E.; Zhang, X.

    2007-12-01

    Sea breezes along the Arctic coastal areas, especially in the Beaufort Sea coast, are associated with seasonal change of solar insolation, sea ice retreat, and complex terrain of the Brooks Range. Improvement of sea surface wind simulation with a high resolution mesoscale model is of particular interest in oil spill impact assessment and management, as well as in coastal erosion assessment. The objective of this study is to use the mesoscale weather research and forecast (WRF) model with satellite data assimilation to achieve a high quality simulation of Beaufort Sea regional weather patterns. The SeaWinds instrument onboard the polar-orbiting quick scatterometer (QuikSCAT) satellite is a specialized radar that measures ice-free ocean surface wind speed and direction. This data provides significant information over open water areas, where conventional observations are very sparse, for model validation and simulation improvement. The QuikSCAT SeaWinds level 2B data which have a horizontal resolution of 12.5 km are assimilated into the WRF model and its three-dimensional variational data assimilation system (WRF-Var) to study the impacts of QuikSCAT data on WRF simulations of surface wind fields and sea breezes. The modeling domain has been setup to cover the Beaufort Sea area with 235x136 grid points at 10 km resolution and is centered at (155W, 71.3N). In order to apply the WRF-Var system, a customized WRF model error statistics and length scales are created using a one-year simulation of WRF for this particular domain. Two 5-day periods, 10/01/2002-10/05/2000 and 9/20/2004-9/24/2004, are selected to conduct our case study. The years 2002 and 2004 had most open water area, i.e., the farthest ice retreat, during recent seven years; and thus, there are more QuikSCAT SeaWinds data available for our study. Preliminary results show that the WRF model is capable of simulating wind fields very well by verifying modeled winds with station observations. Further results on

  12. Toward a Predictive Model of Arctic Coastal Retreat in a Warming Climate, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-09-30

    meteorological and sedimentological data from the field, and submitted two abstracts for the AGU annual meeting in December. During this period, we also...describing the stratigraphy , ice content, and spatial variability of coastal bluffs materials; 2) to begin our long-term meteorological monitoring...environments. A. Coastal Stratigraphy – One of the advantages of arriving on the North Slope early in the summer was the ability to walk on

  13. EMBATTLED BIVALVES: BIOGEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS AND ABUNDANCES FROM THE BEAUFORT SEA TO THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an EPA/USGS project to predict the relative vulnerability of near-coastal species to climate change, we have synthesized in a web-based tool, the Coastal Biogeographic Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT), the biogeographic distributions and abundances of bivalves, found in dept...

  14. Aerial Surveys of Endangered Whales in the Beaufort, Chukchi & Northern Bering Seas.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-03-01

    the bowheads through or near areas on the outer continental shelf of Alaska that are currently being assessed as potential sources of mineral and oil...coordinates, time, and number in the group. For whales, an inclinometer angle, used in the deriva - tion of an index of abundance, was taken when the sighting...to about 720 N latitude. Daily ice conditions along this corridor are a product of winds, movement of pack ice, surface currents and continental shelf

  15. Artic oil-spill response guide for the alaskan beaufort sea. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-03-01

    Contents include--Federal Response Organization; Initial Response; Elements of Response; Detection and Surveillance, Oil-Spill Trajectory Models, Oil-Spill Containment, Oil-Spill Recovery, Transfer Equipment, Recovered Oil Storage Equipment, Oil-Spill Disposal, Personnel, Logistics, Well Control, Dispersants, Mechanics of Response, Oil Spill Response Scenarios; Appendices.

  16. 77 FR 10707 - Safety Zone; NOBLE DISCOVERER, Outer Continental Shelf Drillship, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, Alaska

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-23

    .... SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes a 500-meter safety zone around the DRILLSHIP NOBLE DISCOVERER, while... temporary safety zone would encompass the area within 500 meters from each point on the outer edge of the... 3. The area within 500 meters (1,640.4 feet) from each point on the outer edge of the vessel...

  17. Movement of Satellite-Tracked Buoys in the Beaufort Sea (1979-1981).

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-06-01

    34Of 4,mtMO- D.L. Murphy, I.M. Lissauer , and J.C. Myers CGR&DC 4/83 9. a’im 0 N w.. Wi..ss |. fie 14. (TRAM United States Coast Guard Research and...Eastern Mid-Latitude North Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 86(C9): 8022-8030. Murphy, D.L., P.A. Tebeau, and I.M. Lissauer , 1981. Long

  18. BIVALVE BIOGEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS, ABUNDANCES, AND CLIMATE VULNERABILITY FROM THE BEAUFORT SEA TO THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an U.S. EPA/USGS project to predict the relative vulnerability of near-coastal species to climate change along the Pacific Coast, we have synthesized the biogeographic distributions and abundances of bivalves found in depths <200 m. We have included the twelve &ldqu...

  19. 75 FR 18404 - Safety Zone; FRONTIER DISCOVERER, Outer Continental Shelf Drillship, Chukchi and Beaufort Sea...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-12

    ..., while anchored or deploying and recovering moorings on location in order to drill exploratory wells at... drilling season. The purpose of the temporary safety zone is to protect the DRILLSHIP from vessels... temporary safety zone around the DRILLSHIP FRONTIER DISCOVERER while on location in order to drill...

  20. Studies of the inner shelf and coastal sedimentation environment of the Beaufort Sea from ERTS-1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reimnitz, E. (Principal Investigator); Barnes, P. W.

    1973-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The particulate transport processes involved in the movement of surficial waters were examined using secchi disc readings, light attenuation coefficients, and particulate weights from filtration. Observations gathered during the summers of 1971 and 1972 indicate a remarkable difference in particulate matter and turbidity between the two years. ERTS-1 imagery during August 1972 showed turbid water along the northern Alaska coast. The uniformity of distribution of the turbid water and the fact that the river discharge is low at this period suggest that the turbidity is related to causes other than river effluent. Studies indicate that wave action is a more significant factor influencing particulate transport than believed heretofore. The boundary between the essentially immobile shorefast ice and the moving pack ice has been plotted from several ERTS-1 images and found to occur fairly consistently along the 20 meter contour. Considering the vast difference in the amount of ice movement shoreward and seaward of this boundary, ice-bottom action should also be different on either side of this boundary and for that matter at the shear zone that develops along the boundary.

  1. Outer continental shelf, Beaufort Sea, oil and gas lease sale 170 (proposed notice of sale)

    SciTech Connect

    1997-12-31

    The Minerals Management Service (MMS) is issuing this proposed Notice of Sale under the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331-1356, as amended) and the regulations issued thereunder (30 CFR Part 256). A `Sale Notice Package,` containing this Notice and several supporting and essential documents referenced in the Notice, is available from the MMS Alaska OCS Regional Office Public Information Unit.

  2. "Heavy Sledding": Barriers to Community Participation in Beaufort Sea Hydrocarbon Developments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durst, Douglas

    1994-01-01

    This description of the Canadian government's assessment of the social impact of hydrocarbon exploration in the Arctic demonstrates barriers to citizen involvement: ad hoc nature, travel and child care problems, and lack of enough volunteers. Recommendations for community participation in impact assessment are given. (SK)

  3. Contaminants in molting long-tailed ducks and nesting common eiders in the Beaufort Sea.

    PubMed

    Franson, J C; Hollmén, T E; Flint, P L; Grand, J B; Lanctot, R B

    2004-03-01

    In 2000, we collected blood from long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis) and blood and eggs from common eiders (Somateria mollissima) at near-shore islands in the vicinity of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and at a reference area east of Prudhoe Bay. Blood was analyzed for trace elements and egg contents were analyzed for trace elements, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Except for Se (mean=36.1 microg/g dry weight (dw) in common eiders and 48.8 microg/g dw in long-tailed ducks), concentrations of trace elements in blood were low and, although several trace elements differed between areas, they were not consistently higher at one location. In long-tailed ducks, Se in blood was positively correlated with activities of two serum enzymes, suggestive of an adverse effect of increasing Se levels on the liver. Although common eiders had high Se concentrations in their blood, Se residues in eggs were low (mean=2.28 microg/g dw). Strontium and Ni were higher in eggs near Prudhoe Bay than at the reference area, but none of the other trace elements or organic contaminants in eggs differed between locations. Concentrations of Ca, Sr, Mg, and Ni differed among eggs having no visible development, early-stage embryos, or late-stage embryos. Residues of 4,4'-DDE, cis-nonachlor, dieldrin, hexachlorobenzene, oxychlordane, and trans-nonachlor were found in 100% of the common eider eggs, but at low concentrations (means of 2.35-7.45 microg/kg wet weight (ww)). The mean total PCB concentration in eggs was 15.12 microg/kg ww. Of PAHs tested for, residues of 1- and 2-methylnaphthalene and naphthalene were found in 100% of the eggs, at mean concentrations of 0.36-0.89 microg/kg ww.

  4. Toward a Predictive Model of Arctic Coastal Retreat in a Warming Climate, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-30

    quantify the environmental drivers of rapid coastal erosion in the Arctic, and to begin developing predictive models of future rates of coastal erosion ...wave) energy in driving coastal erosion in the Arctic. We are combining high-resolution observations of coastline retreat with meteorological and...content, ice-wedge polygon spacing, and the thermal properties of bluff materials; 2) time-lapse photography to observe coastal erosion processes in

  5. BIVALVE BIOGEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS, ABUNDANCES, AND CLIMATE VULNERABILITY FROM THE BEAUFORT SEA TO THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an U.S. EPA/USGS project to predict the relative vulnerability of near-coastal species to climate change along the Pacific Coast, we have synthesized the biogeographic distributions and abundances of bivalves found in depths <200 m. We have included the twelve &ldqu...

  6. EMBATTLED BIVALVES: BIOGEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS AND ABUNDANCES FROM THE BEAUFORT SEA TO THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    As part of an EPA/USGS project to predict the relative vulnerability of near-coastal species to climate change, we have synthesized in a web-based tool, the Coastal Biogeographic Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT), the biogeographic distributions and abundances of bivalves, found in dept...

  7. Contaminants in molting long-tailed ducks and nesting common eiders in the Beaufort Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J.C.; Hollmén, Tuula E.; Flint, P.L.; Grand, J.B.; Lanctot, Richard B.

    2004-01-01

    In 2000, we collected blood from long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis) and blood and eggs from common eiders (Somateria mollissima) at near-shore islands in the vicinity of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and at a reference area east of Prudhoe Bay. Blood was analyzed for trace elements and egg contents were analyzed for trace elements, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Except for Se (mean=36.1 ??g/g dry weight (dw) in common eiders and 48.8 ??g/g dw in long-tailed ducks), concentrations of trace elements in blood were low and, although several trace elements differed between areas, they were not consistently higher at one location. In long-tailed ducks, Se in blood was positively correlated with activities of two serum enzymes, suggestive of an adverse effect of increasing Se levels on the liver. Although common eiders had high Se concentrations in their blood, Se residues in eggs were low (mean=2.28 ??g/g dw). Strontium and Ni were higher in eggs near Prudhoe Bay than at the reference area, but none of the other trace elements or organic contaminants in eggs differed between locations. Concentrations of Ca, Sr, Mg, and Ni differed among eggs having no visible development, early-stage embryos, or late-stage embryos. Residues of 4,4???-DDE, cis-nonachlor, dieldrin, hexachlorobenzene, oxychlordane, and trans-nonachlor were found in 100% of the common eider eggs, but at low concentrations (means of 2.35-7.45 ??g/kg wet weight (ww)). The mean total PCB concentration in eggs was 15.12 ??g/kg ww. Of PAHs tested for, residues of 1- and 2-methylnaphthalene and naphthalene were found in 100% of the eggs, at mean concentrations of 0.36-0.89 ??g/kg ww.

  8. Coastal Environment, Bathymetry and Physical Oceanography along the Beaufort, Chukchi and Bering Seas.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-01-01

    vlokn 96*4 19v4S. bso ŝ * 29.9,94s*99. bm. Pw 9270) op. *0910 ’MiChsseskht nsoutegepokArm9W996.guun 999.89 ARa .S. 0M*0. 8 aska ,Cla. O Mines...tosto mao 14682 local. Alaskar CompoWe from ReporOts oeo tah i of the o 3961. 1 250.0001 i .Cno. 97 okiyo h UI. I Goologa.1 Se.-, Wn U.S& Do-d of

  9. 75 FR 803 - Safety Zone; FRONTIER DISCOVERER, Outer Continental Shelf Drillship, Chukchi and Beaufort Sea...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-06

    ... around the DRILLSHIP will significantly reduce the threat of allisions, oil spills, and releases of... safety zone. The proposed regulation would reduce significantly the threat of allisions, oil spills,...

  10. "Heavy Sledding": Barriers to Community Participation in Beaufort Sea Hydrocarbon Developments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durst, Douglas

    1994-01-01

    This description of the Canadian government's assessment of the social impact of hydrocarbon exploration in the Arctic demonstrates barriers to citizen involvement: ad hoc nature, travel and child care problems, and lack of enough volunteers. Recommendations for community participation in impact assessment are given. (SK)

  11. Rates of summertime biological productivity in the Beaufort Gyre: A comparison between the low and record-low ice conditions of August 2011 and 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanley, Rachel H. R.; Sandwith, Zoe O.; Williams, William J.

    2015-07-01

    The Arctic Ocean is changing rapidly as the global climate warms but it is not well known how these changes are affecting biological productivity and the carbon cycle. Here we study the Beaufort Gyre region of the Canada Basin in August and use the large reduction in summertime sea ice extent from 2011 to 2012 to investigate potential impacts of climate warming on biological productivity. We use the gas tracers O2/Ar and triple oxygen isotopes to quantify rates of net community production (NCP) and gross oxygen production (GOP) in the gyre. Comparison of the summer of 2011 with the summer of 2012, the latter of which had record low sea ice coverage, is relevant to how biological productivity might change in a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean. We find that, in the surface waters measured here, GOP in 2012 is significantly greater than in 2011, with the mean basin-wide 2012 GOP = 38 ± 3 mmol O2 m- 2 d- 1 whereas in 2011, mean basin GOP = 16 ± 5 mmol O2 m- 2 d- 1. We hypothesize that this is because the lack of sea ice and consequent increase in light penetration allows photosynthesis to increase in 2012. However, despite the increase in GOP, NCP is the same in the two years; mean NCP in 2012 is 3.0 ± 0.2 mmol O2 m- 2 y- 1 and in 2011 is 3.1 ± 0.2 mmol O2 m- 2 y- 1. This suggests that the heterotrophic community (zooplankton and/or bacteria) increased its activity as well and thus respired the additional carbon produced by the increased photosynthetic production. In both years, stations on the shelf had GOP 3 to 5 times and NCP 2 to 10 times larger than the basin stations. Additionally, we show that in 2011, the NCP/GOP ratio is smallest in regions with highest ice cover, suggesting that the microbial loop was more efficient at recycling carbon in regions where the ice was just starting to melt. These results highlight that although satellite chlorophyll records show, and many models predict, an increase in summertime primary production in the Arctic Basin as it

  12. Recent Circulation Changes at Intermediate Depths (Upper Polar Deep Water) in the Beaufort Gyre Inferred from Water Column Distribution of 230Th

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutgers van der Loeff, M.; Francois, R. H. G. M.; Moran, B.; Lepore, K.; Edwards, R. L.; Lu, Y.

    2016-02-01

    Surface water circulation in the Arctic Ocean is known to vary with time in response to the Arctic Oscillation, and recent changes in circulation have been documented in the freshwater budget (Rabe et al., 2011) and in the penetration of 129I (Karcher et al., 2012). In the Atlantic Water Layer, the penetration of a warming anomaly, first observed 1990 in Fram Strait (Quadfasel et al., 1991) has been well documented. Much less is known of circulation changes at greater depths. We compare new 230Th data, including International Polar Year - GEOTRACES data, collected in 2007 in the Eurasian and Makarov Basins up to the Alpha Ridge, and in 2007-2009 in the southern Canada Basin, with previous data from the Arctic Basins. We observe lower 230Th activities in mid-depth waters (1000-2250m) at the Alpha Ridge compared to data from 1983, and increasing 230Th activities penetrating southward in the Beaufort Sea over the period 2007-2009 in the upper 1500 m, which is coincident with the arrival of the Atlantic temperature anomaly. We propose that the low-particle flux and high-230Th isolated water mass in the Alpha Ridge region described by Bacon et al. (1989) has been ventilated, resulting in decreased 230Th activities in Upper Polar Deep Water in this region in 2007, and included in an anti-cyclonic circulation that transported it to the southern region of the Beaufort Sea. Bacon, M.P, et al., 1989. Vertical profiles of some natural radionuclides over the Alpha Ridge, Arctic Ocean. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 95, 15-22. Karcher, M.J, et al., 2012. Recent changes of Arctic Ocean circulation revealed by 129 Iodine observations and modelling. Journal of Geophysical Research 117, C08007. Quadfasel, D., et al., 1991. Warming in the arctic. Nature 350, 385. Rabe, B., et al., 2011. An assessment of Arctic Ocean freshwater content changes from the 1990s to the 2006-2008 period. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 58, 173-185.

  13. Sea ice loss enhances wave action at the Arctic coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Overeem, I.; Anderson, R. Scott; Wobus, C.W.; Clow, G.D.; Urban, F.E.; Matell, N.

    2011-01-01

    Erosion rates of permafrost coasts along the Beaufort Sea accelerated over the past 50 years synchronously with Arctic-wide declines in sea ice extent, suggesting a causal relationship between the two. A fetch-limited wave model driven by sea ice position and local wind data from northern Alaska indicates that the exposure of permafrost bluffs to seawater increased by a factor of 2.5 during 1979-2009. The duration of the open water season expanded from ???45 days to ???95 days. Open water expanded more rapidly toward the fall (???0.92 day yr-1), when sea surface temperatures are cooler, than into the mid-summer (???0.71 days yr-1).Time-lapse imagery demonstrates the relatively efficient erosive action of a single storm in August. Sea surface temperatures have already decreased significantly by fall, reducing the potential impact of thermal erosion due to fall season storm waves. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. Regional variability in sea ice melt in a changing Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Perovich, Donald K.; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A.

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, the Arctic sea ice cover has undergone a precipitous decline in summer extent. The sea ice mass balance integrates heat and provides insight on atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The amount of surface melt and bottom melt that occurs during the summer melt season was measured at 41 sites over the time period 1957 to 2014. There are large regional and temporal variations in both surface and bottom melting. Combined surface and bottom melt ranged from 16 to 294 cm, with a mean of 101 cm. The mean ice equivalent surface melt was 48 cm and the mean bottom melt was 53 cm. On average, surface melting decreases moving northward from the Beaufort Sea towards the North Pole; however interannual differences in atmospheric forcing can overwhelm the influence of latitude. Substantial increases in bottom melting are a major contributor to ice losses in the Beaufort Sea, due to decreases in ice concentration. In the central Arctic, surface and bottom melting demonstrate interannual variability, but show no strong temporal trends from 2000 to 2014. This suggests that under current conditions, summer melting in the central Arctic is not large enough to completely remove the sea ice cover. PMID:26032323

  15. Decadal variability of Arctic sea ice in the Canada Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connor, L. N.

    2015-12-01

    A series of spring Arctic flight campaigns surveying a region over the Canada Basin, from 2006 to 2015, has resulted in unique observations that reveal new details of sea ice leads and freeboard evolution, during a decade of significant interannual variability in the Arctic ice cover. The series began in 2006 with a joint NASA/NOAA airborne altimetry campaign over a 1300 km survey line northwest of the Canadian Archipelago extending into the northern Beaufort Sea. Operation IceBridge (OIB) took up this flight line again in 2009 and repeated it annually through 2012. Additional observations have been collected along a 1000+ km flight line, in the southern Canada Basin and eastern Beaufort Sea, between 2009 and 2015. Here we examine laser altimetry, snow radar data, and high-resolution visible imagery to better understand the frequency and distribution of leads and ice floes, the characteristics of first- and multi-year ice types in the survey region, and their impact on the derivation and accuracy of sea ice freeboard. We demonstrate a novel lead detection methodology that depends only upon laser altimeter measurements, and we quantify the impact of low lead frequencies on estimates of instantaneous sea surface height. The analysis reveals a variable springtime freeboard north of 78° N, significantly reduced after 2006, and a notable lead outbreak over the Canada Basin during 2010.

  16. Regional variability in sea ice melt in a changing Arctic.

    PubMed

    Perovich, Donald K; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A

    2015-07-13

    In recent years, the Arctic sea ice cover has undergone a precipitous decline in summer extent. The sea ice mass balance integrates heat and provides insight on atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The amount of surface melt and bottom melt that occurs during the summer melt season was measured at 41 sites over the time period 1957 to 2014. There are large regional and temporal variations in both surface and bottom melting. Combined surface and bottom melt ranged from 16 to 294 cm, with a mean of 101 cm. The mean ice equivalent surface melt was 48 cm and the mean bottom melt was 53 cm. On average, surface melting decreases moving northward from the Beaufort Sea towards the North Pole; however interannual differences in atmospheric forcing can overwhelm the influence of latitude. Substantial increases in bottom melting are a major contributor to ice losses in the Beaufort Sea, due to decreases in ice concentration. In the central Arctic, surface and bottom melting demonstrate interannual variability, but show no strong temporal trends from 2000 to 2014. This suggests that under current conditions, summer melting in the central Arctic is not large enough to completely remove the sea ice cover.

  17. Sea Ice Patterns

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    On July 20, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy steamed south in the Arctic Ocean toward the edge of the sea ice. The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is NASA's two-year shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research takes place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen For updates on the five-week ICESCAPE voyage, visit the mission blog at: go.usa.gov/WwU NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  18. Sea ice terminology

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-09-01

    A group of definitions of terms related to sea ice is presented, as well as a graphic representation of late winter ice zonation of the Beaufort Sea Coast. Terms included in the definition list are belt, bergy bit, bight, brash ice, calving, close pack ice, compacting, compact pack ice, concentration, consolidated pack ice, crack, diffuse ice edge, fast ice, fast-ice boundary, fast-ice edge, first-year ice, flaw, flaw lead, floe, flooded ice, fractured, fractured zone, fracturing, glacier, grey ice, grey-white ice, growler, hummock, iceberg, iceberg tongue, ice blink, ice boundary, ice cake, ice edge, ice foot, ice free, ice island, ice shelf, large fracture, lead, medium fracture, multiyear ice, nilas, old ice, open pack ice, open water, pack ice, polar ice, polynya, puddle, rafted ice, rafting, ram, ridge, rotten ice, second-year ice, shearing, shore lead, shore polynya, small fracture, strip, tabular berg, thaw holes, very close pack ice, very open pack ice, water sky, young coastal ice, and young ice.

  19. Interannual Arctic sea ice variability and associated winter weather patterns: A regional perspective for 1979-2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hans W.; Alley, Richard B.; Zhang, Fuqing

    2016-12-01

    Using Arctic sea ice concentration derived from passive microwave satellite observations in autumn and early winter over the 1979-2014 period, the Arctic region was objectively classified into several smaller regions based on the interannual sea ice variability through self-organizing map analyses. The trend in regional sea ice extent (RSIE) in each region was removed using an adaptive, nonlinear, and nonstationary method called Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition, which captures well the accelerating decline of Arctic RSIEs in recent decades. Although the linear trend in RSIE is negative in all regions in both seasons, there are marked differences in RSIE trends and variability between regions, with the largest negative trends found during autumn in the Beaufort Sea, the Barents-Kara Seas, and the Laptev-East Siberian Seas. Winter weather patterns associated with the nonlinearly detrended RSIEs show distinct features for different regions and tend to be better correlated with the autumn than early winter RSIE anomalies. Sea ice losses in the Beaufort Sea and the Barents-Kara Seas are both associated with a cooling of Eurasia, but in the former case the circulation anomaly is reminiscent of a Rossby wave train, whereas in the latter case the pattern projects onto the negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation. These results highlight the nonuniform changes in Arctic sea ice and suggest that regional sea ice variations may play a crucial role for the winter weather patterns.

  20. Interdecadal changes in snow depth on Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, Melinda A.; Rigor, Ignatius G.; Nghiem, Son V.; Kurtz, Nathan T.; Farrell, Sinead L.; Perovich, Donald K.; Sturm, Matthew

    2014-08-01

    Snow plays a key role in the growth and decay of Arctic sea ice. In winter, it insulates sea ice from cold air temperatures, slowing sea ice growth. From spring to summer, the albedo of snow determines how much insolation is absorbed by the sea ice and underlying ocean, impacting ice melt processes. Knowledge of the contemporary snow depth distribution is essential for estimating sea ice thickness and volume, and for understanding and modeling sea ice thermodynamics in the changing Arctic. This study assesses spring snow depth distribution on Arctic sea ice using airborne radar observations from Operation IceBridge for 2009-2013. Data were validated using coordinated in situ measurements taken in March 2012 during the Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) field campaign. We find a correlation of 0.59 and root-mean-square error of 5.8 cm between the airborne and in situ data. Using this relationship and IceBridge snow thickness products, we compared the recent results with data from the 1937, 1954-1991 Soviet drifting ice stations. The comparison shows thinning of the snowpack, from 35.1 ± 9.4 to 22.2 ± 1.9 cm in the western Arctic, and from 32.8 ± 9.4 to 14.5 ± 1.9 cm in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. These changes suggest a snow depth decline of 37 ± 29% in the western Arctic and 56 ± 33% in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Thinning is negatively correlated with the delayed onset of sea ice freezeup during autumn.

  1. Wave Processes in Arctic Seas, Observed from TerraSAR-X

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    significant wave height, wave direction and wave length directly from TS-X SAR image spectra without using a-priori information. Iceberg detection...is carried out through a single channel image analysis by an advancement of CFAR algorithm to detect and locate icebergs in an image. Ice type...coverage with this year’s MIZ DRI data needs, very few images were obtained in the Beaufort Sea. Software development for iceberg detection is in a

  2. Wave Processes in Arctic Seas, Observed from TerraSAR-X

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    X SAR image spectra without using a-priori information. Iceberg detection is carried out through a single channel image analysis by an...advancement of CFAR algorithm to detect and locate icebergs in an image. Ice type classification is obtained with a texture based approach. Ice types are...obtained in the Beaufort Sea. Software development for iceberg detection is in a final stage and a comprehensive validation is to be carried out

  3. Diagnostic sea ice predictability in the pan-Arctic and U.S. Arctic regional seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Wei; Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, Edward; Bitz, Cecilia M.; Ladd, Carol; Stabeno, Phyllis J.

    2016-11-01

    This study assesses sea ice predictability in the pan-Arctic and U.S. Arctic regional (Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort) seas with a purpose of understanding regional differences from the pan-Arctic perspective and how predictability might change under changing climate. Lagged correlation is derived using existing output from the Community Earth System Model Large Ensemble (CESM-LE), Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System, and NOAA Coupled Forecast System Reanalysis models. While qualitatively similar, quantitative differences exist in Arctic ice area lagged correlation in models with or without data assimilation. On regional scales, modeled ice area lagged correlations are strongly location and season dependent. A robust feature in the CESM-LE is that the pan-Arctic melt-to-freeze season ice area memory intensifies, whereas the freeze-to-melt season memory weakens as climate warms, but there are across-region variations in the sea ice predictability changes with changing climate.

  4. Sedimentological and Stratagraphic Evidence for a Catastrophic Flood Along the Beaufort Margin, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klotsko, S.; Driscoll, N. W.; Keigwin, L. D.

    2014-12-01

    In 2013, a cruise on the USCGC Healy mapped the Beaufort margin from Barrow, AK into the Amundsen Gulf using a towed CHIRP subbottom profiler and a hull-mounted Knudsen CHIRP subbottom profiler. Sediment cores were also acquired. The seismic data image an extensive margin-wide drift deposit, which appears to have entered the Beaufort margin from the Mackenzie River. The deposit is thickest on the eastern side of the Mackenzie Delta, near stations 5 and 9. It thins west along the Beaufort margin nearing Barrow Canyon. The deposit also thins to the east, but does not extend as far in this direction. Sediment core Healy1302-JPC15, from station 5 on the Mackenzie slope, was analyzed for grain size using a Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer. These data were compared to the magnetic susceptibility data from the core. Peaks in the susceptibility correlate with increases in grain size, as well as high amplitude reflectors within the drift deposit present in the seismic data. The drift deposit appears to have a diagnostic reflection pattern observed in the seismic data with the base being characterized by a high amplitude reflector that correlates with increased IRD. Above the basal reflectors, an acoustically transparent interval is observed with thicknesses on the order of 7 m near the depocenter; this interval has diminished IRD and radiocarbon dates yield accumulation rates as high as 8 m/ky. The dominant grain size for this interval is ~5 μm. Above the transparent interval is a series of high amplitude reflectors defining the top of the drift deposit. The dominant grain size for the basal and upper high amplitude reflectors reaches ~20 μm. We postulate that the drift deposit was sourced from glacial Lake Agassiz and flowed down the Mackenzie River, entering the Arctic Ocean. It was then entrained by the Beaufort Gyre, migrating clockwise along the margin. Oxygen isotope data reflects the light δO18 signature consistent with a large glacial meltwater input

  5. EOS Aqua AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice Validation Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Markus, T.; Gasiewski, A.; Klein, M.; Maslanik, J.; Sturm, M.; Stroeve, J.; Heinrichs, J.

    2004-01-01

    A coordinated Arctic sea ice validation field campaign using the NASA Wallops P-3B aircraft was successfully completed in March 2003. This campaign was part of the program for validating the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) sea ice products. The AMSR-E, designed and built by the Japanese National Space Development Agency for NASA, was launched May 4,2002 on the EOS Aqua spacecraft. The AMSR-E sea ice products include sea ice concentration, sea ice temperature, and snow depth on sea ice. The primary instrument on the P-3B aircraft was the NOAA ETL Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR) covering the same frequencies and polarizations as the AMSR-E. This paper describes the objectives of each of the seven flights, the Arctic regions overflown, and the coordination among satellite, aircraft, and surface-based measurements. Two of the seven aircraft flights were coordinated with scientists making surface measurements of snow and ice properties including sea ice temperature and snow depth on sea ice at a study area near Barrow, AK and at a Navy ice camp located in the Beaufort Sea. The remaining flights covered portions of the Bering Sea ice edge, the Chukchi Sea, and Norton Sound. Comparisons among the satellite and aircraft PSR data sets are presented.

  6. An epidemiological investigation of an outbreak of leptospirosis associated with swimming, Beaufort, Sabah.

    PubMed

    Koay, T K; Nirmal, S; Noitie, L; Tan, E

    2004-10-01

    From October 13 to October 21, 1999, a total of 46 males, aged 8 to 19 years, were admitted to Beaufort Hospital after swimming in the creek near an oil palm plantation in Kampung (Kg) Kebatu, Beaufort. Thirty (30) presented with symptoms including fever, vomiting, bodyache, giddiness, headache, chest pain and cough, while 16 others, were asymptomatic. One, a 15 year old boy, died from haemorrhagic shock secondary to pulmonary haemorrhage. The onset of the illness was from 11 October to 19 October 1999. A case-control study found that the outbreak was associated with swimming in the creek (p<0.0001). A total of 44 paired sera samples were sent for microscopic agglutination test (MAT), 5 pairs showed sero-conversion, 3 pairs had 4 fold rise in titre and 18 pairs were positive at >320. The findings indicated that Leptospirosis was the cause of the outbreak of this illness and the contaminated creek water was the source of the infection. The occurrence of flooding and stagnation in the creek following the heavy rainfall during the first week of October 1999 could have contributed to the timing of the outbreak.

  7. Social Factors as Modifiers of Hurricane Irene Evacuation Behavior in Beaufort County, NC

    PubMed Central

    Ricchetti-Masterson, Kristen; Horney, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Encouraging residents in high-risk areas to evacuate before a hurricane makes landfall is one of the few ways to reduce hurricane-related morbidity and mortality. However, demographic factors associated with evacuation in at-risk groups have not been consistent across studies. To determine if social factors (social control, social cohesion, and social capital) modified the relationship between demographic groups and failure to evacuate from Hurricane Irene, the authors conducted a cross-sectional stratified two-stage cluster sample among residents of Beaufort County, NC. Of 226 attempted rapid response interviews, 205 were completed (response rate = 90.7%). Data were analyzed using generalized linear modeling, which produced crude risk differences to estimate the association between failure to evacuate from Hurricane Irene and a number of demographic and social factors; effect measure modification (EMM) was assessed on the additive scale through stratified analyses of key social factors. There were no significant associations between demographic or social factors and evacuation in the bivariate analysis. However, EMM was present for households with high social capital or social cohesion among special needs residents, those over age 65, males, and non-whites. In Beaufort County, NC, future hazard mitigation plans should include evacuation messages tailored for households with high social capital or social cohesion. PMID:23788200

  8. Social Factors as Modifiers of Hurricane Irene Evacuation Behavior in Beaufort County, NC.

    PubMed

    Ricchetti-Masterson, Kristen; Horney, Jennifer

    2013-06-05

    Encouraging residents in high-risk areas to evacuate before a hurricane makes landfall is one of the few ways to reduce hurricane-related morbidity and mortality. However, demographic factors associated with evacuation in at-risk groups have not been consistent across studies. To determine if social factors (social control, social cohesion, and social capital) modified the relationship between demographic groups and failure to evacuate from Hurricane Irene, the authors conducted a cross-sectional stratified two-stage cluster sample among residents of Beaufort County, NC. Of 226 attempted rapid response interviews, 205 were completed (response rate = 90.7%). Data were analyzed using generalized linear modeling, which produced crude risk differences to estimate the association between failure to evacuate from Hurricane Irene and a number of demographic and social factors; effect measure modification (EMM) was assessed on the additive scale through stratified analyses of key social factors. There were no significant associations between demographic or social factors and evacuation in the bivariate analysis. However, EMM was present for households with high social capital or social cohesion among special needs residents, those over age 65, males, and non-whites. In Beaufort County, NC, future hazard mitigation plans should include evacuation messages tailored for households with high social capital or social cohesion.

  9. Fine-resolution simulation of surface current and sea ice in the Arctic Mediterranean Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiying; Zhang, Xuehong; Yu, Rucong; Liu, Hailong; Li, Wei

    2007-04-01

    A fine-resolution model is developed for ocean circulation simulation in the National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is applied to simulate surface current and sea ice variations in the Arctic Mediterranean Seas. A dynamic sea ice model in elastic-viscous-plastic rheology and a thermodynamic sea ice model are employed. A 200-year simulation is performed and a dimatological average of a 10-year period (141st 150th) is presented with focus on sea ice concentration and surface current variations in the Arctic Mediterranean Seas. The model is able to simulate well the East Greenland Current, Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift, but the simulated West Spitsbergen Current is small and weak. In the March climatology, the sea ice coverage can be simulated well except for a bit more ice in east of Spitsbergen Island. The result is also good for the September scenario except for less ice concentration east of Greenland and greater ice concentration near the ice margin. The extra ice east of Spitsbergen Island is caused by sea ice current convergence forced by atmospheric wind stress.

  10. Beaufort scale of wind force as adapted for use on forested areas of the northern Rocky Mountains

    Treesearch

    George M. Jemison

    1934-01-01

    The Beaufort scale of wind force, internationally employed by weather agencies, was not designed for use on mountainous and forested areas like those of the Rocky Mountains of northern Idaho and western Montana. The United States Forest Service has used it to estimate wind velocities in this region, but has found that in too many cases the resulting estimates were...

  11. Microwave Signatures of Snow on Sea Ice: Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, D. C.; Markus, T.; Cavalieri, D. J.; Gasiewski, A. J.; Klein, M.; Maslanik, J. A.; Stroeve, J. C.; Sturm, M.

    2006-01-01

    Accurate knowledge of snow-depth distribution over sea ice is critical for polar climate studies. Current snow-depth-over-sea-ice retrieval algorithms do not sufficiently account for variations in snow and ice physical properties that can affect the accuracy of retrievals. For this reason, airborne microwave observations were coordinated with ground-based measurements of snow depth and snow properties in the vicinity of Barrow, AK, in March 2003. In this paper, the effects of snowpack properties and ice conditions on microwave signatures are examined using detailed surface-based measurements and airborne observations in conjunction with a thermal microwave-emission model. A comparison of the Microwave Emission Model of Layered Snowpacks (MEMLS) simulations with detailed snowpack and ice data from stakes along the Elson Lagoon and the Beaufort Sea and ra- 'diometer data taken from low-level flights using a Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR-A) shows that MEMLS can be used to simulate snow on sea ice and is a useful tool for understanding the limitations of the snow-depth algorithm. Analysis of radiance data taken over the Elson Lagoon and the Beaufort Sea using MEMLS suggests that the radiometric differences between the two locations are due to the differences in sea-ice emissivity. Furthermore, measured brightness temperatures suggest that the current snow-depth retrieval algorithm is sufficient for areas of smooth first-year sea ice, whereas new algorithm coefficients are needed for rough first-year sea ice. Snowpack grain size and density remain an unresolved issue for snow-depth retrievals using passive-microwave radiances.

  12. Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-27

    On July 12, 2011, crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy retrieved a canister dropped by parachute from a C-130, which brought supplies for some mid-mission fixes. The ICESCAPE mission, or "Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment," is NASA's two-year shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean's chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research takes place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen For updates on the five-week ICESCAPE voyage, visit the mission blog at: go.usa.gov/WwU NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission. Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Find us on Instagram

  13. A crust-scale 3D structural model of the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin (Arctic Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sippel, Judith; Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena; Lewerenz, Björn; Kroeger, Karsten Friedrich

    2013-04-01

    The Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin was initiated in the Early Jurassic as part of an Arctic rifted passive continental margin which soon after became overprinted by Cordilleran foreland tectonics. Decades of industrial exploration and scientific research in this petroliferous region have produced a wide spectrum of geological and geophysical data as well as geoscientific knowledge. We have integrated available grids of sedimentary horizons, well data, seismic reflection and refraction data, and the observed regional gravity field into the first crust-scale 3D structural model of the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin. Many characteristics of this model reflect the complex geodynamic and tectonostratigraphic history of the basin. The Mesozoic-Cenozoic sedimentary part of the model comprises seven clastic units (predominantly sandy shales) of which the modelled thickness distributions allow to retrace the well-established history of the basin comprising a gradual north(east)ward shift of the main depocentres as well as diverse phases of localised erosion. As a result of this development, the present-day configuration of the basin reveals that the sedimentary units tend to be younger, more porous, and thus less dense towards the north at a constant depth level. By integrating three refraction seismic profiles and performing combined isostatic and 3D gravity modelling, we have modelled the sub-sedimentary basement of the Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin. The continental basement spans from unstretched domains (as thick as about 42 km) in the south to extremely thinned domains (of less than 5 km thickness) in the north where it probably represents transitional crust attached to the oceanic crust of the Canada Basin. The uppermost parts of the continental crust are less dense (ρ = 2710 kg/m3) and most probably made up by pre-Mesozoic meta-sediments overlying a heavier igneous and metamorphic crust (ρ = 2850 kg/m3). The presented crust-scale 3D structural model shows that the greatest

  14. Geometrical constraints on the evolution of ridged sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amundrud, Trisha L.; Melling, Humfrey; Ingram, R. Grant

    2004-06-01

    A numerical model of the evolving draft distribution of seasonal pack ice is driven by freezing and ice field compression in one dimension. Spatial transects of sea ice draft acquired during winter in the Beaufort Sea are used to evaluate the model. Histograms obtained by ice-profiling sonar on subsea moorings reveal changes in the draft distribution, while observations of ice velocity by Doppler sonar allow calculation of the strain to which the draft distribution is responding. Numerical diffusion in thermal ice growth is controlled using a remapping algorithm. Mechanical redistribution algorithms in common use generate much more deep ridged ice than is observed. Geometric constraints on ridge-keel development that reflect the finite extent of level floes available for ridge building and the true average shape of keels produce more realistic results. In the seasonal pack ice of the Beaufort Sea, 75% of all floes are too small to provide a volume of ice sufficient to construct a keel of draft equal to that commonly assumed in ice dynamics modeling. On average, the distribution of draft within keels has a negative exponential form, implying a cusped keel shape with more area on the thinner flanks than at the crest; models commonly assume a uniform redistribution of ice into a keel of triangular shape. Clearly, the spatial organization of ice within seasonal pack or, equivalently, the existence of ridges and floes should be an acknowledged factor in redistribution theory for pack ice thickness.

  15. Arctic and Antarctic sea ice and climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreira, S.

    2014-12-01

    Principal Components Analysis in T-Mode Varimax rotated was performed on Antarctic and Arctic monthly sea ice concentration anomalies (SICA) fields for the period 1979-2014, in order to investigate which are the main spatial characteristics of sea ice and its relationship with atmospheric circulation. This analysis provides 5 patterns of sea ice for inter-spring period and 3 patterns for summer-autumn for Antarctica (69,2% of the total variance) and 3 different patterns for summer-autumn and 3 for winter-spring season for the Arctic Ocean (67,8% of the total variance).Each of these patterns has a positive and negative phase. We used the Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations database derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm. To understand the links between the SICA and climate trends, we extracted the mean pressure and, temperature field patterns for the months with high loadings (positive or negative) of the sea ice patterns that gave distinct atmospheric structures associated with each one. For Antarctica, the first SICA spatial winter-spring pattern in positive phase shows a negative SICA centre over the Drake Passage and north region of Bellingshausen and Weddell Seas together with another negative SICA centre over the East Indian Ocean. Strong positive centres over the rest of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans basins and the Amundsen Sea are also presented. A strong negative pressure anomaly covers most of the Antarctic Continent centered over the Bellingshausen Sea accompanied by three positive pressure anomalies in middle-latitudes. During recent years, the Arctic showed persistent associations of sea-ice and climate patterns principally during summer. Our strongest summer-autumn pattern in negative phase showed a marked reduction on SICA over western Arctic, primarily linked to an overall increase in Arctic atmospheric temperature most pronounced over the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian Seas, and a positive anomaly of

  16. The influence of declining sea ice on shipping activity in the Canadian Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizzolato, Larissa; Howell, Stephen E. L.; Dawson, Jackie; Laliberté, Frédéric; Copland, Luke

    2016-12-01

    Significant attention has focused on the potential for increased shipping activity driven by recently observed declines in Arctic sea ice cover. In this study, we describe the first coupled spatial analysis between shipping activity and sea ice using observations in the Canadian Arctic over the 1990-2015 period. Shipping activity is measured by using known ship locations enhanced with a least cost path algorithm to generate ship tracks and quantified by computing total distance traveled in kilometers. Statistically significant increases in shipping activity are observed in the Hudson Strait (150-500 km traveled yr-1), the Beaufort Sea (40-450 km traveled yr-1), Baffin Bay (50-350 km traveled yr-1), and regions in the southern route of the Northwest Passage (50-250 km traveled yr-1). Increases in shipping activity are significantly correlated with reductions in sea ice concentration (Kendall's tau up to -0.6) in regions of the Beaufort Sea, Western Parry Channel, Western Baffin Bay, and Foxe Basin. Changes in multiyear ice-dominant regions in the Canadian Arctic were found to be more influential on changes to shipping activity compared to seasonal sea ice regions.

  17. Anchor ice, seabed freezing, and sediment dynamics in shallow arctic seas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, E.; Kempema, E.W.; Barnes, P.W.

    1987-01-01

    Diving investigations confirm previous circumstantial evidence of seafloor freezing and anchor ice accretion during freeze-up storms in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. These related bottom types were found to be continuous from shore to 2 m depth and spotty to 4.5 m depth. The concretelike nature of frozen bottom, where present, should prohibit sediment transport by any conceivable wave or current regime during the freezing storm. But elsewhere, anchor ice lifts coarse material off the bottom and incorporates it into the ice canopy, thereby leading to significant ice rafting of shallow shelf sediment and likely sediment loss to the deep sea. -from Authors

  18. Wave Climate and Wave Mixing in the Marginal Ice Zones of Arctic Seas, Observations and Modelling

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    Wind measurements near the surface of waves. Proc. ASME 2013 32nd Int. Conf. on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Eng. OMAE2013, July 9-14, 2013, Nantes...Grant Number: N00014-13-1-0278 http://ababanin.com / LONG-TERM GOALS The long-term goals of the present project are two: wind /wave climatology for the...Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. OBJECTIVES The wind /wave climatology for the Arctic Seas will be developed based on altimeter observations. It will have a

  19. Characterizing Arctic Sea Ice Topography Using High-Resolution IceBridge Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petty, Alek; Tsamados, Michel; Kurtz, Nathan; Farrell, Sinead; Newman, Thomas; Harbeck, Jeremy; Feltham, Daniel; Richter-Menge, Jackie

    2016-01-01

    We present an analysis of Arctic sea ice topography using high resolution, three-dimensional, surface elevation data from the Airborne Topographic Mapper, flown as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge mission. Surface features in the sea ice cover are detected using a newly developed surface feature picking algorithm. We derive information regarding the height, volume and geometry of surface features from 2009-2014 within the Beaufort/Chukchi and Central Arctic regions. The results are delineated by ice type to estimate the topographic variability across first-year and multi-year ice regimes.

  20. Upper Permian magnetic stratigraphy of the lower Beaufort Group, Karoo Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanci, L.; Tohver, E.; Wilson, A.; Flint, S.

    2013-08-01

    We carried out a magnetostratigraphic and geochronological study of late Permian sediments in the Karoo Basin of the Western Cape Province, South Africa. A continuous, ~700 m thick section of deltaic sediments of the upper Waterford Formation (uppermost Ecca Group) and the fluvial sediments of the Abrahamskraal Formation (lowermost Beaufort Group) were sampled at the meter scale. U-Pb dating of zircons from interbedded volcanic ash beds by ion microprobe (SHRIMP) provided absolute age constraints on the age of the sedimentary rocks. Paleomagnetic analysis reveals a partial overprint of the Natural Remanent Magnetization (NRM) that is tentatively ascribed to the emplacement of the Karoo Large Igneous Province in the Western Cape region during the middle Jurassic. A stable component of the NRM was found at temperatures higher than 450 °C and was interpreted as a Characteristic Remanent Magnetization (ChRM) acquired during deposition, supported by a positive reversals test for this dual polarity ChRM. The virtual geomagnetic pole position for the Waterford and Abrahamskraal Formations computed from the average ChRM direction is in general agreement with the late Permian directions for stable Gondwana. A significantly different average inclination, and thus paleomagnetic pole position, is obtained by correcting the inclination shallowing error by the Elongation-Inclination method (Tauxe and Kent, 2004). The presence of both normal and reversed polarity zones indicate deposition after the end of the Kiaman Superchron, moreover the polarity sequence is in good agreement with the Illawarra sequence of Steiner (2006). Our results indicate a Capitanian (late Guadalupian) age for the Abrahamskraal Fm., in agreement with the Late Permian age, based on presence of Glossopteris flora and Dicynodont fauna, traditionally assigned to the fluvial-lacustrine sediments of the Beaufort Group. However, the U-Pb zircon ages of ca. 264-268 Ma suggest an age of 269 Ma for the top of the

  1. Sea ice off western Alaska

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-28

    On February 4, 2014 the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured a true-color image of sea ice off of western Alaska. In this true-color image, the snow and ice covered land appears bright white while the floating sea ice appears a duller grayish-white. Snow over the land is drier, and reflects more light back to the instrument, accounting for the very bright color. Ice overlying oceans contains more water, and increasing water decreases reflectivity of ice, resulting in duller colors. Thinner ice is also duller. The ocean waters are tinted with green, likely due to a combination of sediment and phytoplankton. Alaska lies to the east in this image, and Russia to the west. The Bering Strait, covered with ice, lies between to two. South of the Bering Strait, the waters are known as the Bering Sea. To the north lies the Chukchi Sea. The bright white island south of the Bering Strait is St. Lawrence Island. Home to just over 1200 people, the windswept island belongs to the United States, but sits closer to Russia than to Alaska. To the southeast of the island a dark area, loosely covered with floating sea ice, marks a persistent polynya – an area of open water surrounded by more frozen sea ice. Due to the prevailing winds, which blow the sea ice away from the coast in this location, the area rarely completely freezes. The ice-covered areas in this image, as well as the Beaufort Sea, to the north, are critical areas for the survival of the ringed seal, a threatened species. The seals use the sea ice, including ice caves, to rear their young, and use the free-floating sea ice for molting, raising the young and breeding. In December 2014, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) proposed that much of this region be set aside as critical, protected habitat for the ringed seal. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

  2. Diminishing sea ice in the western Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, R.S.; Belchansky, G.I.; Drobot, Sheldon; Douglas, D.C.; Levinson, D.H.; Waple, A.M.

    2004-01-01

    Since the advent of satellite passive microwave radiometry (1978), variations in sea ice extent and concentration have been carefully monitored from space. An estimated 7.4% decrease in sea ice extent has occurred in the last 25 yr (Johannessen et al. 2004), with recent record minima (e.g., Maslanik et al. 1999; Serreze et al. 2003) accounting for much of the decline. Comparisons between the time series of Arctic sea ice melt dynamics and snowmelt dates at the NOAA–CMDL Barrow Observatory (BRW) reveal intriguing correlations.Melt-onset dates over sea ice (Drobot and Anderson 2001) were cross correlated with the melt-date time series from BRW, and a prominent region of high correlation between snowmelt onset over sea ice and the BRW record of melt dates was approximately aligned with the climatological center of the Beaufort Sea Anticyclone (BSA). The BSA induces anticyclonic ice motion in the region, effectively forcing the Beaufort gyre. A weak gyre caused by a breakdown of the BSA diminishes transport of multiyear ice into this region (Drobot and Maslanik 2003). Similarly, the annual snow cycle at BRW varies with the position and intensity of the BSA (Stone et al. 2002, their Fig. 6). Thus, variations in the BSA appear to have far-reaching effects on the annual accumulation and subsequent melt of snow over a large region of the western Arctic.A dramatic increase in melt season duration (Belchansky et al. 2004) was also observed within the same region of high correlation between onset of melt over the ice pack and snowmelt at BRW (Fig. 5.7). By inference, this suggests linkages between factors that modulate the annual cycle of snow on land and processes that influence melting of snow and ice in the western Arctic Ocean.

  3. Sea ice near-inertial response to atmospheric storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoudt, Chase A.

    A moored oceanographic array was deployed on the Beaufort Sea continental slope from August 2008-August 2009 to measure Arctic sea ice near-inertial motion in response to rapidly changing wind stress. Upward looking Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers detected sea ice and measured ice drift using a combination of bottom track and error velocity. An analysis of in-situ mooring data in conjunction with data from National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) reanalysis suggest that many high and low pressure systems cross the Beaufort in winter, but not all of these create a near-inertial ice response. Two unusually strong low pressure systems that passed near the array in December 2008 and February/March 2009 were accompanied by elevated levels of near-inertial kinetic energy in the ice. The analysis suggests pressure systems which have a diameter to ground track velocity ratio close to 3/4 of the local inertial period can excite a large near-inertial response in the sea ice. It is conjectured that this results from the combined effect of resonance arising from similar intrinsic timescales of the storm and the local inertial period and from stresses that are able to overcome the damping of sea ice arising from ice-mechanics and damping in the ice-ocean boundary layer. Those systems whose intrinsic times scales do not approach resonance with the local inertial period did not excite a large near- inertial response in the sea ice. From an analysis of two storms in February 2009, and two in December 2008, it appears that wind stresses associated with previous low pressure systems preconditioned the ice pack, allowing for larger near-inertial response during subsequent events.

  4. Microwave Signatures of Snow on Sea Ice: Observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, Thorsten; Cavalieri, Donald J.; Gasiewski, Albin J.; Klein, Marian; Maslanik, James A.; Powell, Dylan C.; Stankov, B. Boba; Stroeve, Julienne C.; Sturm, Matthew

    2006-01-01

    Part of the Earth Observing System Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) Arctic sea ice validation campaign in March 2003 was dedicated to the validation of snow depth on sea ice and ice temperature products. The difficulty with validating these two variables is that neither can currently be measured other than in situ. For this reason, two aircraft flights on March 13 and 19,2003, were dedicated to these products, and flight lines were coordinated with in situ measurements of snow and sea ice physical properties. One flight was in the vicinity of Barrow, AK, covering Elson Lagoon and the adjacent Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The other flight was farther north in the Beaufort Sea (about 73 N, 147.5 W) and was coordinated with a Navy ice camp. The results confirm the AMSR-E snow depth algorithm and its coefficients for first-year ice when it is relatively smooth. For rough first-year ice and for multiyear ice, there is still a relationship between the spectral gradient ratio of 19 and 37 GHz, but a different set of algorithm coefficients is necessary. Comparisons using other AMSR-E channels did not provide a clear signature of sea ice characteristics and, hence, could not provide guidance for the choice of algorithm coefficients. The limited comparison of in situ snow-ice interface and surface temperatures with 6-GHz brightness temperatures, which are used for the retrieval of ice temperature, shows that the 6-GHz temperature is correlated with the snow-ice interface temperature to only a limited extent. For strong temperature gradients within the snow layer, it is clear that the 6-GHz temperature is a weighted average of the entire snow layer.

  5. Hydrologic and water-quality data in selected agricultural drainages in Beaufort and Hyde Counties, North Carolina, 1990-92

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Treece, M.W.

    1993-01-01

    An investigation was begun in 1988 to: (1) quantify nutrient, sediment, and freshwater loadings in canals that collect drainage from cropland field ditches; (2) determine the effects of tide gates and flashboard risers on these loadings and on receiving water quality; and (3) characterize the effects of drainage on the salinity regime of a tidal creek. Data were collected in three canals in Hyde County, two canals in Beaufort County, and in Campbell Creek, which receives drainage directly from the Beaufort County canals. A tide gate was placed in one of the Hyde County canals near the beginning of the investigation. In August 1990 following more than 2 years of data collection, control structures were placed in the remaining two Hyde County canals. Flashboard risers were installed in the Beaufort County canals in April 1991. Hydrologic and water quality data are presented for each of the study sites for the period of October 1990 through May 1992. Following a description of the study sites and data collection methods, data are presented for the five drainage canals and Campbell Creek. The data collected included: (1) daily values of accumulated precipitation; (2) water level statistics; (3) daily mean values of discharge in the canals; (4) biweekly water quality measurements and sample analyses; (5) storm-event water quality measurements and sample analyses; (6) continuous records of specific conductance in the canals; (7) vertical profiles of salinity in Campbell Creek; and (8) daily mean values of salinity at five sites at Campbell Creek.

  6. Arctic Sea Level During the Satellite Altimetry Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carret, A.; Johannessen, J. A.; Andersen, O. B.; Ablain, M.; Prandi, P.; Blazquez, A.; Cazenave, A.

    2016-11-01

    Results of the sea-level budget in the high latitudes (up to 80°N) and the Arctic Ocean during the satellite altimetry era. We investigate the closure of the sea-level budget since 2002 using two altimetry sea-level datasets based on the Envisat waveform retracking: temperature and salinity data from the ORAP5 reanalysis, and Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) space gravimetry data to estimate the steric and mass components. Regional sea-level trends seen in the altimetry map, in particular over the Beaufort Gyre and along the eastern coast of Greenland, are of halosteric origin. However, in terms of regional average over the region ranging from 66°N to 80°N, the steric component contributes little to the observed sea-level trend, suggesting a dominant mass contribution in the Arctic region. This is confirmed by GRACE-based ocean mass time series that agree well with the altimetry-based sea-level time series. Direct estimate of the mass component is not possible prior to GRACE. Thus, we estimated the mass contribution from the difference between the altimetry-based sea level and the steric component. We also investigate the coastal sea level with tide gauge records. Twenty coupled climate models from the CMIP5 project are also used. The models lead us to the same conclusions concerning the halosteric origin of the trend patterns.

  7. Arctic Sea Level During the Satellite Altimetry Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carret, A.; Johannessen, J. A.; Andersen, O. B.; Ablain, M.; Prandi, P.; Blazquez, A.; Cazenave, A.

    2017-01-01

    Results of the sea-level budget in the high latitudes (up to 80°N) and the Arctic Ocean during the satellite altimetry era. We investigate the closure of the sea-level budget since 2002 using two altimetry sea-level datasets based on the Envisat waveform retracking: temperature and salinity data from the ORAP5 reanalysis, and Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment (GRACE) space gravimetry data to estimate the steric and mass components. Regional sea-level trends seen in the altimetry map, in particular over the Beaufort Gyre and along the eastern coast of Greenland, are of halosteric origin. However, in terms of regional average over the region ranging from 66°N to 80°N, the steric component contributes little to the observed sea-level trend, suggesting a dominant mass contribution in the Arctic region. This is confirmed by GRACE-based ocean mass time series that agree well with the altimetry-based sea-level time series. Direct estimate of the mass component is not possible prior to GRACE. Thus, we estimated the mass contribution from the difference between the altimetry-based sea level and the steric component. We also investigate the coastal sea level with tide gauge records. Twenty coupled climate models from the CMIP5 project are also used. The models lead us to the same conclusions concerning the halosteric origin of the trend patterns.

  8. Recent Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Melt Onset, Freeze-Up, and Melt Season Length

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, Thorsten; Stroeve, Julienne C.; Miller, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    In order to explore changes and trends in the timing of Arctic sea ice melt onset and freeze-up and therefore melt season length, we developed a method that obtains this information directly from satellite passive microwave data, creating a consistent data set from 1979 through present. We furthermore distinguish between early melt (the first day of the year when melt is detected) and the first day of continuous melt. A similar distinction is made for the freeze-up. Using this method we analyze trends in melt onset and freeze-up for 10 different Arctic regions. In all regions except for the Sea of Okhotsk, which shows a very slight and statistically insignificant positive trend (O.4 days/decade), trends in melt onset are negative, i.e. towards earlier melt. The trends range from -1.0day/decade for the Bering Sea to -7.3 days/decade for the East Greenland Sea. Except for the Sea of Okhotsk all areas also show a trend towards later autumn freeze onset. The Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Laptev/East Siberian Seas observe the strongest trends with 7 days/decade. For the entire Arctic, the melt season length has increased by about 20 days over the last 30 years. Largest trends of over 1O days/decade are seen for Hudson Bay, the East Greenland Sea the Laptev/East Siberian Seas, and the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. Those trends are statistically significant a1 the 99% level.

  9. Recent Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Melt Onset, Freeze-Up, and Melt Season Length

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, Thorsten; Stroeve, Julienne C.; Miller, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    In order to explore changes and trends in the timing of Arctic sea ice melt onset and freeze-up and therefore melt season length, we developed a method that obtains this information directly from satellite passive microwave data, creating a consistent data set from 1979 through present. We furthermore distinguish between early melt (the first day of the year when melt is detected) and the first day of continuous melt. A similar distinction is made for the freeze-up. Using this method we analyze trends in melt onset and freeze-up for 10 different Arctic regions. In all regions except for the Sea of Okhotsk, which shows a very slight and statistically insignificant positive trend (O.4 days/decade), trends in melt onset are negative, i.e. towards earlier melt. The trends range from -1.0day/decade for the Bering Sea to -7.3 days/decade for the East Greenland Sea. Except for the Sea of Okhotsk all areas also show a trend towards later autumn freeze onset. The Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Laptev/East Siberian Seas observe the strongest trends with 7 days/decade. For the entire Arctic, the melt season length has increased by about 20 days over the last 30 years. Largest trends of over 1O days/decade are seen for Hudson Bay, the East Greenland Sea the Laptev/East Siberian Seas, and the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. Those trends are statistically significant a1 the 99% level.

  10. New Insights in Sea Ice Drift Based on Dirty Ice Samples Collected in 2005 by the HOTRAX Expedition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darby, D. A.; Jakobsson, M.; Rigor, I.

    2006-12-01

    Several dirty sea ice samples collected over the rarely visited Alpha Ridge and from other central Arctic Ocean areas are compared to ice-drift back trajectories from International Arctic Buoy Programme. Both the back trajectories and Fe grain fingerprint sources suggest Russian sources near the Laptev Sea (New Siberian Islands), but the Fe grain sources also indicate other Russian sources such as the Kara Sea and even some sources were traced to the northern Arctic Canadian Archipelago. Drift patterns based on back trajectories show that a mix of Russian and N. American sources is possible because the location where the ice was sampled is close to the area where the Trans-Polar Drift carrying Russian ice joins that portion of the Beaufort Gyre moving toward Fram Strait and carrying N. American ice. The Fe grain sources also show that both Russian and N. American ice can occur juxtaposed within very short distances of tens of meters due to mixing of ice floes. This supports earlier findings in the Beaufort Gyre area where Russia floes co-mingled with N. American floes due to repeated separation and rejoining of ice floes. Two dirty ice samples north of Barrow, Alaska indicate a Bering Strait/Chukchi Sea source. The back trajectories in this area do not show any ice originating from any nearshore sources off Alaska nor northern Canada, but only a tight clockwise rotation over the past several years prior to 2005. Thus the Chukchi Sea source is entirely feasible in light of this back- trajectory data. If so this is the first direct evidence of ice in the Beaufort Gyre originating from the Chukchi Sea area.

  11. EOS Aqua AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice Validation Program: Arctic2003 Aircraft Campaign Flight Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Markus,T.

    2003-01-01

    In March 2003 a coordinated Arctic sea ice validation field campaign using the NASA Wallops P-3B aircraft was successfully completed. This campaign was part of the program for validating the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) sea ice products. The AMSR-E, designed and built by the Japanese National Space Development Agency for NASA, was launched May 4, 2002 on the EOS Aqua spacecraft. The AMSR-E sea ice products to be validated include sea ice concentration, sea ice temperature, and snow depth on sea ice. This flight report describes the suite of instruments flown on the P-3, the objectives of each of the seven flights, the Arctic regions overflown, and the coordination among satellite, aircraft, and surface-based measurements. Two of the seven aircraft flights were coordinated with scientists making surface measurements of snow and ice properties including sea ice temperature and snow depth on sea ice at a study area near Barrow, AK and at a Navy ice camp located in the Beaufort Sea. Two additional flights were dedicated to making heat and moisture flux measurements over the St. Lawrence Island polynya to support ongoing air-sea-ice processes studies of Arctic coastal polynyas. The remaining flights covered portions of the Bering Sea ice edge, the Chukchi Sea, and Norton Sound.

  12. Regional seasonal forecasts of the Arctic sea ice in two coupled climate models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevallier, Matthieu; Guémas, Virginie; Salas y Mélia, David; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco

    2015-04-01

    The predictive capabilities of two state-of-the-art coupled atmosphere-ocean global climate models (CNRM-CM5.1 and EC-Earth v2.3) in seasonal forecasting of the Arctic sea ice will be presented with a focus on regional skill. 5-month hindcasts of September sea ice area in the Arctic peripherial seas (Barents-Kara seas, Laptev-East Siberian seas, Chukchi sea and Beaufort sea) and March sea ice area in the marginal ice zones (Barents, Greenland, Labrador, Bering and Okhotsk sea) have been produced over the period 1990-2009. Systems mainly differ with respect to the initialization strategy, the ensemble generation techniques and the sea ice components. Predictive skill, assessed in terms of actual and potential predictability, is comparable in the two systems for both summer and winter hindcasts. Most interestingly, the multi-model prediction is often better than individual predictions in several sub-basins, including the Barents sea in the winter and most shelf seas in the summer. Systematic biases are also reduced using the multi-model predictions. Results from this study show that a regional zoom of global seasonal forecasts could be useful for operational needs. This study also show that the multi-model approach may be the step forward in producing accurate and reliable seasonal forecasts based on coupled global climate models.

  13. Trends in sea ice cover within habitats used by bowhead whales in the western Arctic.

    PubMed

    Moore, Sue E; Laidre, Kristin L

    2006-06-01

    We examined trends in sea ice cover between 1979 and 2002 in four months (March, June, September, and November) for four large (approximately 100,000 km2) and 12 small (approximately 10,000 km2) regions of the western Arctic in habitats used by bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus). Variation in open water with year was significant in all months except March, but interactions between region and year were not. Open water increased in both large and small regions, but trends were weak with least-squares regression accounting for < or =34% of the total variation. In large regions, positive trends in open water were strongest in September. Linear fits were poor, however, even in the East Siberian, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas, where basin-scale analyses have emphasized dramatic sea ice loss. Small regions also showed weak positive trends in open water and strong interannual variability. Open water increased consistently in five small regions where bowhead whales have been observed feeding or where oceanographic models predict prey entrainment, including: (1) June, along the northern Chukotka coast, near Wrangel Island, and along the Beaufort slope; (2) September, near Wrangel Island, the Barrow Arc, and the Chukchi Borderland; and (3) November, along the Barrow Arc. Conversely, there was very little consistent change in sea ice cover in four small regions considered winter refugia for bowhead whales in the northern Bering Sea, nor in two small regions that include the primary springtime migration corridor in the Chukchi Sea. The effects of sea ice cover on bowhead whale prey availability are unknown but can be modeled via production and advection pathways. Our conceptual model suggests that reductions in sea ice cover will increase prey availability along both pathways for this population. This analysis elucidates the variability inherent in the western Arctic marine ecosystem at scales relevant to bowhead whales and contrasts basin-scale depictions of extreme sea ice

  14. Spring Snow Depth on Arctic Sea Ice using the IceBridge Snow Depth Product (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, M.; Rigor, I. G.; Nghiem, S. V.; Kurtz, N. T.; Farrell, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Snow has dual roles in the growth and decay of Arctic sea ice. In winter, it insulates sea ice from colder air temperatures, slowing its growth. From spring into summer, the albedo of snow determines how much insolation is transmitted through the sea ice and into the underlying ocean, ultimately impacting the progression of the summer ice melt. Knowing the snow thickness and distribution are essential for understanding and modeling sea ice thermodynamics and the surface heat budget. Therefore, an accurate assessment of the snow cover is necessary for identifying its impacts in the changing Arctic. This study assesses springtime snow conditions on Arctic sea ice using airborne snow thickness measurements from Operation IceBridge (2009-2012). The 2012 data were validated with coordinated in situ measurements taken in March 2012 during the BRomine, Ozone, and Mercury EXperiment field campaign. We find a statistically significant correlation coefficient of 0.59 and RMS error of 5.8 cm. The comparison between the IceBridge snow thickness product and the 1937, 1954-1991 Soviet drifting ice station data suggests that the snow cover has thinned by 33% in the western Arctic and 44% in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. A rudimentary estimation shows that a thinner snow cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas translates to a mid-December surface heat flux as high as 81 W/m2 compared to 32 W/m2. The relationship between the 2009-2012 thinner snow depth distribution and later sea ice freeze-up is statistically significant, with a correlation coefficient of 0.59. These results may help us better understand the surface energy budget in the changing Arctic, and may improve our ability to predict the future state of the sea ice cover.

  15. Arctic Sea Ice Classification and Mapping for Surface Albedo Parameterization in Sea Ice Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Clemente-Colón, P.; Perovich, D. K.; Polashenski, C.; Simpson, W. R.; Rigor, I. G.; Woods, J. E.; Nguyen, D. T.; Neumann, G.

    2016-12-01

    A regime shift of Arctic sea ice from predominantly perennial sea ice (multi-year ice or MYI) to seasonal sea ice (first-year ice or FYI) has occurred in recent decades. This shift has profoundly altered the proportional composition of different sea ice classes and the surface albedo distribution pertaining to each sea ice class. Such changes impacts physical, chemical, and biological processes in the Arctic atmosphere-ice-ocean system. The drastic changes upset the traditional geophysical representation of surface albedo of the Arctic sea ice cover in current models. A critical science issue is that these profound changes must be rigorously and systematically observed and characterized to enable a transformative re-parameterization of key model inputs, such as ice surface albedo, to ice-ocean-atmosphere climate modeling in order to obtain re-analyses that accurately reproduce Arctic changes and also to improve sea ice and weather forecast models. Addressing this challenge is a strategy identified by the National Research Council study on "Seasonal to Decadal Predictions of Arctic Sea Ice - Challenges and Strategies" to replicate the new Arctic reality. We review results of albedo characteristics associated with different sea ice classes such as FYI and MYI. Then we demonstrate the capability for sea ice classification and mapping using algorithms developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and by the U.S. National Ice Center for use with multi-sourced satellite radar data at L, C, and Ku bands. Results obtained with independent algorithms for different radar frequencies consistently identify sea ice classes and thereby cross-verify the sea ice classification methods. Moreover, field observations obtained from buoy webcams and along an extensive trek across Elson Lagoon and a sector of the Beaufort Sea during the BRomine, Ozone, and Mercury EXperiment (BROMEX) in March 2012 are used to validate satellite products of sea ice classes. This research enables the mapping

  16. Changes in Arctic Melt Season and Implications for Sea Ice Loss

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stroeve, J. C.; Markus, T.; Boisvert, L.; Miller, J.; Barrett, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Arctic-wide melt season has lengthened at a rate of 5 days dec-1 from 1979 to 2013, dominated by later autumn freeze-up within the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, Chukchi and Beaufort seas between 6 and 11 days dec(exp -1). While melt onset trends are generally smaller, the timing of melt onset has a large influence on the total amount of solar energy absorbed during summer. The additional heat stored in the upper ocean of approximately 752MJ m(exp -2) during the last decade, increases sea surface temperatures by 0.5 to 1.5 C and largely explains the observed delays in autumn freeze-up within the Arctic Ocean's adjacent seas. Cumulative anomalies in total absorbed solar radiation from May through September for the most recent pentad locally exceed 300-400 MJ m(exp -2) in the Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas. This extra solar energy is equivalent to melting 0.97 to 1.3 m of ice during the summer.

  17. Petrographic, mineralogical, and chemical characterization of certain Arctic Alaskan coals from the Cape Beaufort Region

    SciTech Connect

    Rao, P.D.

    1980-01-01

    Coal seams for the Cape Beaufort region of Arctic Northwestern Alaska were sampled by drilling by the US Bureau of Mines, Juneau and the US Geological Survey, Anchorage). Samples from the drill holes were supplied to the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory. These are Cretaceous coals ranging in rank from high volatile bituminous A to B. A total of 48 samples from 18 drill holes intersecting 14 seams were studied. Float-sink separations were made at 1.50 specific gravity for 10 of these samples. Raw coals and float-sink products were characterized for proximate analysis, ultimate analysis, ash fusibility, vitrinite reflectance, coal petrology in reflected light, quantitative determination of mineral matter by x-ray diffraction and infrared spectrophotometry of low temperature ash, major minor, and trace elements by atomic absorption and emission spectrochemical analysis. Influence of beneficiation and geological significance of these characteristics, and organic affinity of trace elements are discussed. A generalized scheme for analysis of coal ash by atomic absorption and emission spectrochemical methods is presented.

  18. Degradation state of organic matter in surface sediments from the Beaufort Shelf: a lipid approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rontani, J.-F.; Charriere, B.; Petit, M.; Vaultier, F.; Heipieper, H. J.; Link, H.; Chaillou, G.; Sempéré, R.

    2012-03-01

    The lipid content of surface sediments collected on the Beaufort Shelf was examined. Particular attention was given to biotic and abiotic degradation products of sterols and monounsaturated fatty acids. By using sitosterol and campesterol degradation products as tracers of the degradation of terrestrial higher plant inputs and brassicasterol degradation products as tracers of degradation of phytoplanktonic organisms, it could be observed that autoxidation, photooxidation and biodegradation processes act much more intensively on higher plant debris than on phytoplanktonic organisms. Examination of oxidation products of monounsaturated fatty acids showed that photo- and autoxidation processes act more intensively on bacteria than on phytodetritus. Enhanced damages induced by singlet oxygen (transferred from senescent phytoplanktonic cells) in bacteria were attributed to the lack of an adapted antioxidant system in these microorganisms. The strong oxidative stress observed in the sampled sediments resulted in the production of significant amounts of epoxyacids and unusually very high proportions of monounsaturated fatty acids with a trans double bond. The formation of epoxyacids was attributed to peroxygenases (enzymes playing a protective role against the deleterious effects of fatty acid hydroperoxides in vivo), while cis/trans isomerization was probably induced by thiyl radicals produced during the reaction of thiols with hydroperoxides. Our results confirm the important role played by abiotic oxidative processes in the degradation of marine bacteria and do not support the generally expected refractory character of terrigenous material deposited in deltaic systems.

  19. Assessment of intrinsic bioremediation of jet fuel contamination in a shallow aquifer, Beaufort, South Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chapelle, Frank; Landmeyer, J.E.; Bradley, P.M.

    1995-01-01

    Field and laboratory studies show that microorganisms indigenous to the ground-water system underlying Tank Farm C, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., degrade petroleum hydrocarbons under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Under aerobic conditions, sediments from the shallow aquifer underlying the site mineralized radiolabeled (14C) toluene to 14CO2 with first-order rate constants of about -0.29 per day. Sediments incubated under anaerobic conditions mineralized radiolabeled toluene more slowly, with first-order rate constants of -0.001 per day. Although anaerobic rates of biodegradation are low, they are significant in the hydrologic and geochemical context of the site. Because of low hydraulic conductivities (1.9-9.1 feet per day) and low hydraulic gradients (about 0.004 feet per feet), ground water flows slowly (approximately 20 feet per year) at this site. Furthermore, aquifer sediments contain organic-rich peat that has a high sorptive capacity. Under these conditions, hydrocarbon contaminants have moved no further than 10 feet downgradient of the jet fuel free product. Digital solute-transport simulations, using the range of model parameters measured at the site, show that dissolved contaminants will be completely degraded before they are discharged from the aquifer into adjacent surface-water bodies. These results show that natural attenuation processes are containing the migration of soluble hydrocarbons, and that intrinsic bioremediation is a potentially effective remedial strategy at this site.

  20. Fate and transport of phosphate from an onsite wastewater system in Beaufort County, North Carolina.

    PubMed

    Humphrey, Charles; O'Driscoll, Mike; Deal, Nancy; Lindbo, David

    2014-01-01

    The objectives for the study described in this article were to evaluate the fate and transport of onsite wastewater system (OWS)-derived phosphate from a residential system in Beaufort County, North Carolina, and to determine if current OWS setback regulations are sufficient to prevent elevated phosphate discharge to surface waters. Piezometers were installed in nests at different depths adjacent to drain-field trenches and up- and down-gradient of a residential OWS. Groundwater and septic effluent phosphate concentrations, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and electrical conductivity were monitored every two months from February 2011 to October 2011 (five times). The mean groundwater phosphate concentration beneath the OWS (3.05 +/- 0.74 mg/L) was not significantly different than septic effluent (2.97 +/- 0.76 mg/L) and was elevated relative to background groundwater (0.14 +/- 0.12 mg/L). Groundwater phosphate concentrations were inversely related (r2 = .83) to distance from the system. Onsite system setback regulations may have to be increased (>30 m) in some areas to ensure groundwater phosphate concentrations are reduced to background concentrations before discharge to surface waters.

  1. 77 FR 10711 - Safety Zone; KULLUK, Outer Continental Shelf Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), Beaufort Sea, AK

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-23

    ... rulemaking. SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes a 500-meter safety zone around the MODU KULLUK, while anchored... Rule The proposed temporary safety zone would encompass the area within 500 meters from each point on... 1936 6559 70 28'56.94'' 145 53'47.15'' 23.1 (37.2) The area within 500 meters (1,640.4 feet) from...

  2. Geological, geochemical, and operational summary, aurora well, OCS Y-0943-1, Beaufort Sea, Alaska. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Paul, L.E.; Choromanski, D.R.; Turner, R.F.; Flett, T.O.; Paul, L.E.

    1994-01-01

    The Aurora well is located just off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The well was spudded November 2, 1987, in 68 ft of water and plugged and abandoned 286 days later on August 30, 1988, after drilling to a total depth (TD) of 18,325 ft below the Kelly Bushing (RKB). The report presents our interpretations of the geologic and geochemical information collected from the Aurora well. Additionally, a significant section of the report is devoted to the operational aspects of drilling the Aurora well.

  3. Navy Tactical Applications Guide, Volume 8 Part 2: Arctic - East Siberian/Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. Weather Analysis and Forecast Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-12-01

    respond realistically to Arctic conditions. Hope for improvement lies in employing new high resolution numerical models with better planetary... new analysis and forecast techniques, specifically adapted to this region. This volume has been developed to illustrate, with high resolution...an important role leading to more rapid intensification. This is certainly not a new finding, but is important to emphasize. These jet streaks

  4. 77 FR 38718 - Safety Zone; NOBLE DISCOVERER, Outer Continental Shelf Drillship, Chukchi and/or Beaufort Seas, AK

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-29

    ... thereby protect the safety of life, property, and the environment. Lawful demonstrations may be conducted... releases. Furthermore, the regulation will increase the safety of life, property, and the environment in... and possibly Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) personnel....

  5. Shore Ice Ride-Up and Pile-Up Features. Part I. Alaska’s Beaufort Sea Coast,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-03-01

    shore- frequent west of Narwhal Island (Fig. B2). However, lines over a number of seasons, along which this may be due to the fact that fewer aerial...obser- Narwhal Island. vations cover tens of thousands of kilometers It appears from historicalreports (Kovacs and Sodhi of shoreline, suggesting an...stresses can be concentrated at ice/shore east of Narwhal Island and of Jeanette and Tapkaluk contact points, thereby increasing the local stress level

  6. Climatic Atlas of the Outer Continental Shelf Waters and Coastal Regions of Alaska. Volume 3. Chukchi-Beaufort Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-01-01

    8217 j/9 / <’°i 0j 80 / "go90 37C / 0 / 30 30 .0 ’ 0 4 ’ ’ 0 .’’ 0 - 0 0 7 󈧘 300500 0 0o 0 00 So0𔃺 g 0 20302 050 60 7080 90 100 0 0 � 3 0005 0 0

  7. Coastal erosion and mass wasting along the Canadian Beaufort Sea based on annual airborne LiDAR elevation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obu, Jaroslav; Lantuit, Hugues; Grosse, Guido; Günther, Frank; Sachs, Torsten; Helm, Veit; Fritz, Michael

    2017-09-01

    Erosion of permafrost coasts has received increasing scientific attention since 1990s because of rapid land loss and the mobilisation potential of old organic carbon. The majority of permafrost coastal erosion studies are limited to time periods from a few years to decades. Most of these studies emphasize the spatial variability of coastal erosion, but the intensity of inter-annual variations, including intermediate coastal aggradation, remains poorly documented. We used repeat airborne Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) elevation data from 2012 and 2013 with 1 m horizontal resolution to study coastal erosion and accompanying mass-wasting processes in the hinterland. Study sites were selected to include different morphologies along the coast of the Yukon Coastal Plain and on Herschel Island. We studied elevation and volume changes and coastline movement and compared the results between geomorphic units. Results showed simple uniform coastal erosion from low coasts (up to 10 m height) and a highly diverse erosion pattern along coasts with higher backshore elevation. This variability was particularly pronounced in the case of active retrogressive thaw slumps, which can decrease coastal erosion or even cause temporary progradation by sediment release. Most of the extremes were recorded in study sites with active slumping (e.g. 22 m of coastline retreat and 42 m of coastline progradation). Coastline progradation also resulted from the accumulation of slope collapse material. These occasional events can significantly affect the coastline position on a specific date and can affect coastal retreat rates as estimated in long term by coastline digitalisation from air photos and satellite imagery. These deficiencies can be overcome by short-term airborne LiDAR measurements, which provide detailed and high-resolution information about quickly changing elevations in coastal areas.

  8. Geologic report for the Beaufort Sea planning area, Alaska: regional geology, petroleum geology, environmental geology. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Craig, J.D.; Sherwood, K.W.; Johnson, P.P.

    1985-12-01

    The 192-page report provides a summary of the geologic framework, hydrocarbon potential, and physical environment of the offshore area tentatively scheduled for Federal OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) Oil and Gas Lease Sale 97. The geologic interpretation is based on high-quality, gridded seismic reflection data and publicly available exploration wells. Seven regional seismic lines, released by Western Geophysical Company for this report, illustrate the geology of the petroleum provinces within the planning area. Hydrocarbon play concepts for large, untested areas of the continental margin off northern Alaska are developed from a detailed analysis of the structural and stratigraphic evolution. Environmental geology is described along with implications for future offshore petroleum activities.

  9. Relating Regional Arctic Sea Ice and climate extremes over Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ionita-Scholz, Monica; Grosfeld, Klaus; Lohmann, Gerrit; Scholz, Patrick

    2016-04-01

    The potential increase of temperature extremes under climate change is a major threat to society, as temperature extremes have a deep impact on environment, hydrology, agriculture, society and economy. Hence, the analysis of the mechanisms underlying their occurrence, including their relationships with the large-scale atmospheric circulation and sea ice concentration, is of major importance. At the same time, the decline in Arctic sea ice cover during the last 30 years has been widely documented and it is clear that this change is having profound impacts at regional as well as planetary scale. As such, this study aims to investigate the relation between the autumn regional sea ice concentration variability and cold winters in Europe, as identified by the numbers of cold nights (TN10p), cold days (TX10p), ice days (ID) and consecutive frost days (CFD). We analyze the relationship between Arctic sea ice variation in autumn (September-October-November) averaged over eight different Arctic regions (Barents/Kara Seas, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi/Bering Seas, Central Arctic, Greenland Sea, Labrador Sea/Baffin Bay, Laptev/East Siberian Seas and Northern Hemisphere) and variations in atmospheric circulation and climate extreme indices in the following winter season over Europe using composite map analysis. Based on the composite map analysis it is shown that the response of the winter extreme temperatures over Europe is highly correlated/connected to changes in Arctic sea ice variability. However, this signal is not symmetrical for the case of high and low sea ice years. Moreover, the response of temperatures extreme over Europe to sea ice variability over the different Arctic regions differs substantially. The regions which have the strongest impact on the extreme winter temperature over Europe are: Barents/Kara Seas, Beaufort Sea, Central Arctic and the Northern Hemisphere. For the years of high sea ice concentration in the Barents/Kara Seas there is a reduction in the number

  10. CryoSat-2 Estimates of Sea Ice Freeboard in the Greenland Sea of Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, S.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic region is one of the most important parts that contribute to the global climate system. As an important climatic indicator, sea ice has also undergone dramatic changes. Due to the limitations of poor geographical conditions and a lack of in-situ observations, knowledge about Arctic sea ice has not been explored well for a long time, furthermore it is especial difficult to get a high quality of Arctic Sea ice thickness information.Equipped with a Ku-band SIRAL, CryoSat-2 has been launched in 2010 as an important European Space Agency Earth Explorer Opportunity mission. CryoSat-2 has the advantage of measuring the thickness of polar sea ice and monitoring changes in the ice sheets that blanket Greenland and Antarctica with high precision. In this paper, the CryoSat-2/SIRAL radar altimeter data were used to retrieve the sea ice thickness in the Greenland Sea, Arctic, validated with the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation (ICESat) laser altimeter measurements from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Beaufort Gyre Experiment Program (BGEP) Upward Looking Sonar (ULS) measurements. Results show that the sea ice freeboard in Greenland Sea has a remarkable seasonal variation and presents an evident regional characteristics. As it show below, during the frozen season in autumn and winter the sea ice freeboard concentrated in around 0.23m , the average freeboard in Greenland Sea in June decreased to around 0.18m, the minimum freeboard 0.12m appeared in September. In the Western Greenland Sea near the Greenland and the Fram Strait with higher-latitude where multi-year ice occupy most has a larger freeboard around 0.3m in winter. In the south-eastern Greenland Sea with lower-latitude and shallow sea water, the freeboard composed by first-year ice concentrated in around 0.1m in winter. At the same time, the sea ice area also had seasonal variations, its maximum was in January and March, and minimum was in September.

  11. Mansonia titillans: New Resident Species or Infrequent Visitor in Chatham County, Georgia, and Beaufort County, South Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Moulis, Robert A; Peaty, Laura F A W; Heusel, Jeffrey L; Lewandowski, Henry B; Harrison, Bruce A; Kelly, Rosmarie; Hager, Elizabeth J

    2015-06-01

    In September, October, and November 2014, adult Mansonia titillans were collected at 4 separate sites near Savannah in Chatham County, Georgia, and 1 site in Muscogee County, GA, during routine mosquito surveillance. Although previously recorded from Beaufort County, SC, and several inland southern Georgia counties, recent reports of this species from coastal Georgia or South Carolina are lacking. These newly captured Ma. titillans specimens represent the first documented records for Muscogee County and Chatham County, GA, and may indicate a recent northern expansion or reintroduction of this species along the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

  12. NASA Science Flights Target Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-09-28

    This summer, with sea ice across the Arctic Ocean shrinking to below-average levels, a NASA airborne survey of polar ice just completed its first flights. Its target: aquamarine pools of melt water on the ice surface that may be accelerating the overall sea ice retreat. NASA’s Operation IceBridge completed the first research flight of its new 2016 Arctic summer campaign on July 13. The science flights, which continue through July 25, are collecting data on sea ice in a year following a record-warm winter in the Arctic. Read more: go.nasa.gov/29T6mxc Caption: A large pool of melt water over sea ic