Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2592
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2592
14 Dec 2023
 | 14 Dec 2023

Extent, duration and timing of the sea ice cover in Hornsund, Svalbard in 2014–2023

Zuzanna M. Swirad, A. Malin Johansson, and Eirik Malnes

Abstract. The Sentinel-1A/B synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery archive between 14 October 2014 and 29 June 2023 was used in combination with a segmentation algorithm to create a series of binary ice/open water maps of Hornsund fjord, Svalbard at 50 m resolution for nine seasons (2014/15 to 2022/23). The near-daily (1.57 day mean temporal resolution) maps were used to calculate sea ice coverage for the entire fjord and its parts: the main basin and three major bays: Burgerbukta, Brepollen and Samarinvågen. The average length of the sea ice season was 158 days (range: 105–246 days). Drift ice first arrived from the south-west between October and March and the fast ice onset was on average 24 days later. The fast ice typically disappeared in June, around 20 days after the last day with drift ice. The average sea ice coverage over the sea ice season was 41 % (range: 23–56 %), but it was lower in the main basin (27 %) compared to the bays (63 %). Of the bays, Samarinvågen had the highest sea ice coverage (69 %) likely due to the location in southern Hornsund protected from the incoming wind-generated waves and a narrow opening. Seasonally, the highest sea ice coverage was observed in April for the entire fjord and the bays, and in March for the main basin. The highest sea ice coverage characterised 2019/20, 2021/22 and 2014/15, which were also the seasons with the largest number of negative air temperature days in October – December. The season 2019/20 was characterised by the lowest mean daily and monthly air temperatures. We observed a remarkable inter-annual variability in the sea ice coverage but at the nine-season scale we did not record any gradual trend of decreasing sea ice coverage. These high-resolution data can be used to e.g., better understand the spatio-temporal trends in the sea ice distribution in Hornsund, facilitate comparison between Svalbard fjords and improve modelling of nearshore wind wave transformation and coastal erosion.

Zuzanna M. Swirad, A. Malin Johansson, and Eirik Malnes

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2592', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Zuzanna Swirad, 01 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2592', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Zuzanna Swirad, 01 Feb 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2592', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Jan 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Zuzanna Swirad, 01 Feb 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2592', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Zuzanna Swirad, 01 Feb 2024
Zuzanna M. Swirad, A. Malin Johansson, and Eirik Malnes

Data sets

Ice distribution in Hornsund fjord, Svalbard from Sentinel-1A/B (2014-2023) Z. M. Swirad, A. M. Johansson, and E. Malnes https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.963167

Zuzanna M. Swirad, A. Malin Johansson, and Eirik Malnes

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Short summary
We used satellite images to create sea ice maps of Horsund fjord, Svalbard for nine seasons and calculate the percentage of fjord that was covered by ice. On average sea ice was present in Hornsund for 158 days per year, but it varied from year to year. April was the 'iciest' month and 2019/20 and 2021/22 and 2014/15 the ‘iciest’ seasons. Our data can be used to understand sea ice conditions, compare with other fjords of Svalbard and help modelling waves and coastal erosion.