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Posts tagged Baffin Island

Ice-Free Foxe Basin in Late Summer, Canada – September 30th, 2009

67.7N 76.2W

September 30th, 2009 Category: Climate Change, Image of the day

Canada - August 26th, 2009Hudson Bay

Canada - August 26th, 2009

The waters of Foxe Basin, a shallow oceanic basin north of Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada, located between Baffin Island (above) and the Melville Peninsula (left), appear greenish due to sediments and phytoplankton growth.

Foxe Basin is a broad, predominantly shallow depression, generally less than 100 metres (330 ft) in depth, while to the south, depths of up to 400 metres (1,300 ft) occur.

For most of the year, Foxe Basin is blocked by ice floes. In fact,  open pack ice is common throughout the summer and the basin is rarely ice-free until September.

In this image, taken in late August, very little ice is present, allowing the greenish waters to be observed. The nutrient-rich cold waters found in the basin are known to be especially favorable to phytoplankton and to have a high sediment content, explaining their color.

The numerous islands in the basin, including the rounded Prince Charles Island near the center, are important bird habitats. Bowhead whales migrate to the northern part of the basin each summer.

Also of note here is the bright white Barnes Ice Cap on central Baffin Island, north of Prince Charles Island. It covers close to 6000 km2 and has been thinning due to global warming. Between 1970 and 1984, the ice cap thinned 1.7 m. The ice cap is Canada’s oldest ice, being approximately 20,000 years old. It is a remnant of the Laurentide ice sheet, which covered much of Canada during the last ice age.

Cloud Vortex North of Baffin Island, Canada

73.3N 87.8W

September 11th, 2009 Category: Clouds

Vortex by Canada - August 15th, 2009

Vortex by Canada - August 15th, 2009

Vortex

Vortex

The light tan peninsula near the center of this image is part of Baffin Island, part of  the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, in the territory of Nunavut. Above Baffin Island is Devon Island, whose notable feature is the bright white Devon Ice Cap.

Moving east, Baffin Bay is mostly covered by clouds. Some of these have taken on the swirled form of a vortex, as can be observed in the close-up.

Below Baffin Island, part of mainland Nunavut can be seen. The large, sediment-laden, greenish body of water in the lower left quadrant is Rasmussen Basin, a natural waterway through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It separates King William Island (to the north-west) from the mainland.

To the east of this basin is Pelly Bay, a natural inlet and an arm of the Gulf of Boothia. Like Rasmussen Basin, it also appears greenish, although this coloration is limited to its southern reaches.

Ice in the Davis Strait

65.5N 57W

May 27th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Davis Strait - April 13th, 2009

Davis Strait - April 13th, 2009

As northern hemisphere temperatures warm up, sea ice breaks apart and melts in the Davis Strait, which lies between mid-western Greenland (upper right) and Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut (left).

With a water depth of between one and two thousand meters the strait is substantially shallower than the Labrador Sea to the south or Baffin Bay to the north.

It is underlain by complex geological features of buried grabens (basins) and ridges, probably formed by strike-slip faulting during Paleogene times about 45 million to 62 million years ago.

The strait is famous for its fierce tides, which can range from 30 to 60 feet, and discouraged many earlier explorers.

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