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Posts tagged Foxe Basin

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.

Ice and Sediments in Foxe Basin, Canada

67.7N 76.2W

August 17th, 2011 Category: Sediments

Canada - July 24th, 2011

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. In this summer image, some ice can be seen in the northern part of the basin, although the southern part is ice-free.

In the full image, sediments can be seen framing the shores of the islands in the bay, particularly Prince Charles Island (just above center). It is a large, low-lying island with an area of 9521 km2, off the west coast of Baffin Island, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. The island is uninhabited and its temperatures are extremely cold.

Barnes Ice Cap on Baffin Island, in Canada’s Foxe Basin

67.7N 76.2W

August 24th, 2010 Category: Sediments

Canada - August 4th, 2010

Yellow sediments line the northeastern shoreline of Foxe Basin, a shallow oceanic basin north of Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada. Sediments also surrounded several of the bay’s numerous islands, in particular the rounded Prince Charles Island below the image center.

The large Baffin Island marks the northern boundary of the basin. While several areas appear white due to  clouds or a dusting of snow, the one solid white area directly north of Prince Charles Island is the Barnes Ice Cap. It is almost 6000 km2  in surface area, although it has been thinning and shrinking due to global warming.

Icy Foxe Basin in Nunavut, Canada

66.2N 79.9W

May 16th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Canada - April 27th, 2010

Canada - April 27th, 2010

Foxe Basin is a shallow oceanic basin north of Hudson Bay, in Nunavut, Canada, located between Baffin Island and the Melville Peninsula. This broad, predominantly shallow depression, is generally less than 100 metres (330 ft) in depth, while to the south, depths of up to 400 metres (1,300 ft) occur.

The tidal range decreases from 5 m (16 ft) in the southeast to less than 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in the northwest. During much of the year, landfast ice dominates in the north, while pack ice prevails towards the south.

Foxe Basin itself is rarely ice-free until September, open pack ice being common throughout the summer. Click here to see an image of the bay, free of ice, from last September.

Vigorous tidal currents and strong winds keep the ice pack in constant motion and contribute to the numerous polynyas and shore leads which are found throughout the region. This same motion, combined with the high sediment content of the water makes the sea ice of Foxe Basin dark and rough, easily distinguishable from other ice in the Canadian Arctic.

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.

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