Baffin Bay ice drift and export: 2002–2007



[1] Multiyear estimates of sea ice drift in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait are derived for the first time from the 89 GHz channel of the AMSR-E instrument. Uncertainties in the drift estimates, assessed with Envisat ice motion, are ∼2–3 km/day. A persistent atmospheric trough, between the coast of Greenland and Baffin Island, drives the prevailing southward drift pattern with average daily displacements in excess of 18–20 km during winter. Over the 5-year record, the ice export ranges between 360 and 675 × 103 km2, with an average of 530 × 103 km2. Sea ice area inflow from the Nares Strait, Lancaster Sound and Jones Sound potentially contribute up to a third of the net area outflow while ice production at the North Water Polynya contributes the balance. Rough estimates of annual volume export give ∼500–800 km3. Comparatively, these are ∼70% and ∼30% of the annual area and volume exports at the Fram Strait.