The first field program of the international Labrador Ice Margin Experiment (LIMEX) took place in the Grand Banks region off the east coast of Newfoundland, Canada, during the last 2 weeks of March 1987. LIMEX was conceived as a series of studies to be conducted at 2-year intervals to address a number of objectives related to the dynamics of the Labrador Sea ice cover, the surveillance of ice and oceanic conditions with microwave instruments on aircraft and satellites, the roles of oceanic and atmospheric processes in influencing ice conditions, and the development of air-sea-ice models to predict the behavior of the ice extent, compactness, and motion.
The first study in the series, LIMEX'87, was a pilot project to examine air-sea-ice interactions and the remote sensing of sea ice conditions and characteristics. It is the first study of the marginal ice zone in this region. The LIMEX'87 study area, shown in Figure 1, was chosen because of its economic importance and the nature of its ice cover. The most important oil exploration site on the Canadian east coast, Hibernia, lies within the range of excursion of the ice extent. The experiment was timed to coincide with the period of maximum ice extent and the onset of retreat.