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Andrew Xnn

If I am not mistaken, that is Banks Island at the top of the animation, which is the Southwest direction. Also, the passage at this point is about 50mile or as much as 100 km across.

The Beaufort Sea is in the upper right corner of the photo and mostly covered with fragmented ice.

Also, Mercy Bay is clearly visible on Banks Island. It is the largest bay visible on the island along the passage. This is the site where in September 1851, Captain Robert McClure's ship, HMS Investigator became ice trapped during his search for the Northwest Passage and the lost Sir John Franklin Expedition. After 2 years, it was abandoned, but then re-discovered last year. Thanks Wikipedia!


Last years animations really put things in perspective. With the Canadian Archipelago Sea Ice Area graph showing us below 2010 I'd assumed we were in new territory.


The NWP is showing a lot of cracks on both sides. Hopefully the clouds will subside soon (probably not due to that high over the Arctic Basin), so I can update the animation.


Nice animation.

Two small suggestions - putting white text on white snow is hard to read (2011 Day 146, first frame).

And watching Year/Day format jumps in the last frame, from:
2011 Day 183
Day 191 2011

Otherwise, perfect cropping/animation job.


Thanks, Anu. I must've used the wrong template for filling in the date. You're right about the whiteness too. It wasn't that noticeable on my desktop monitor, but it is on my glossy laptop monitor.

I'll fix this later today.


When I said later today, I meant 'later next week'. :-)

I've removed Day 146 and fixed the format jumping.

Peter Ellis

Re: day 198 update - Cornwallis island is off the bottom of the area shown. I think you're looking at Byam Martin island.


You're right, Peter. Thanks. Deceived by my own crop...


Nice work Neven. The breakup around Bathurst Island (bottom centre) is particularly striking. At the end of last years melt, I said that I thought we would see a lot of movement in the northern archipelago this year, and the conditions seem to be heading in that direction.

Animation / blink comparisons of the area to the N and NE (down and to the right) of the area you've done here might reward your time, if you feel so inclined.

This year, it seems that the fracturing in those northern channels is more advanced than 2010 (as you would expect as some massive blocks were removed from this area by the end of last season and the replacement ice is much thinner). Even though the NWP is a little behind 2010, it will clear and when it does the more breakup in the northern channels will happen apace. Overall I think we might see some serious ice moving from the Basin through the Archipelago by September.

An area to watch, IMO. I've got the popcorn on.


Not to worry, Frank. I will soon start a Canadian Archipelago animation. I've been keeping my eye on this one for over a month now. :-)


finally we have (almost) clear sky over the remaining ice.

It looks like slush but it sure is not moving anywhere.

Bob Wallace

At the rate it is melting the ice doesn't need to move anywhere. It's toast.

The remaining question is whether this is a new record for a melt in this area. I think that might require an almost complete melt during the new two weeks, which looks feasible.


Neven - is there any facility in the software that would give viewers control over the speed/direction of the gifs? I'd like to be able to flip back and forth between frames and linger on frames at times.


Bob, the only way I have found so far is uploading the images to Picasa and then post a slideshow here. I know I should be doing it like that, but it's more work and time (which is of the essence).

There's an example here. If you think it's much better, I'll maybe try and give it another go.

Bob Wallace

That's nice, but I'm not comfortable asking you to do more work.

It's really nice when a one-day sequence is available, which obviously isn't always the case.

Chris Biscan

I an not saying 2013 will end up true.

But we are closer than so many would every want to admit.

thanks nevin for these images.

Mike Constable

The western part of the Ayles ice island is still drifting through the NW Passage, I wonder if it would show up identifyably if the clouds clear? http://sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=47554

Chris Biscan


This area is doing historically bad attm.

Mike Constable

The course of the western part of the Ayles Ice shelf is still being plotted (see my post above). It was going through Viscount Melville Sound/M'Clure Strait during the last melt season, getting out shortly before the freeze slowed movement.

Mike Constable

If you increase the time of the shiptrack record (above) from 240 hours to 10000 you can see how the ice island has moved since last summer!
(I have not tried to see how far back it would go)

Mike Constable

Looks like the Ayles tracker has given up on the 5th June, (too much melting or flat batteries? or . . ?). It was looking interesting

Mike Constable

Ayles tracker running again in the gyre, a marker on a large piece of ice?

Mike Constable

Ayles tracker finally seemed to stop on Aug 24!

Did wonder if Ayles was the piece of ice that frightened Shell into moving their rig one day after they started drilling their hole??!

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