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Phytoplankton in Foxe Basin and Thinning Barnes Ice Cap, Canada – September 20th, 2012

67.7N 76.2W

September 20th, 2012 Category: Glaciers and Ice Caps, Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Canada – September 3rd, 2012

Foxe Basin is a shallow oceanic basin north of Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada, located between Baffin Island and the Melville Peninsula. For most of the year, it is blocked by ice floes. Here, however, the basin appears mostly ice-free, and sediments can be seen along the shores and phytoplankton are visible in the waters, whose nutrient-rich cold waters are known to be especially favorable to such blooms.

The largest island visible in the basin is Prince Charles Island, with an area of 9,521 km2 (3,676 sq mi). Visible north of the island by the top edge is the bright white Barnes Ice Cap, an ice cap located in central Baffin Island, Nunavut. It covers close to 6000 km2 and has been thinning due to regional warming. Between 2004 and 2006, the ice cap was thinning at a rate of 1 m per year.

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