During the spring-to-summer transition, the snow cover on Arctic sea ice melts and meltwater pools on the surface to form melt ponds; however, the timing and extent of the ponding varies between years. In Dease Strait (Nunavut), this transition was particularly dramatic in 2014 when on 18 June meltwater had flooded >95% of the surface. In this study, continuous surface energy balance measurements throughout the transition highlight how the timing of transient weather events influenced seasonal shifts in distinct ice melt stages. The keys to the extensive flooding were 1) the level ice cover, 2) a strong low-pressure system on 24 May that deposited ~10 cm of snow, and 3) freeze-thaw cycling and a subsequent return to sub-zero air temperatures on 30 May that led to superimposed and interposed ice formation. Without these, melt ponds would have likely developed within days from an initial melt onset on 28 May. After a 2-week delay, snow-melt resumed and lead to near-complete flooding of the surface for four days. The albedo of the flooded ice remained high (0.35-0.40), as a result of the bubble-laden superimposed ice layer. Once this layer eroded, the albedo over melt ponds decreased to a more typical level (~0.20). Our observations suggest that the formation of superimposed and interposed ice prevented the vertical drainage of meltwater to the ocean. Future challenges remain to measure the presence of these layers and understand their effect on sea ice permeability and pond evolution while sea ice temperatures are near the melting point.

We present a time series of the full surface energy budget of the landfast sea ice cover in Dease Strait, Nunavut (Canada), over the spring to summer transition in 2014.

Time-series of hourly means of vertical temperature in the snow, sea ice, and seawater. This is the metadata template associated with the data files. Contains site locations for atmospheric, ice, snow and seawater data.

Data and Resources




Field Value
Dataset Name The Energetics of Extensive Melt Water Flooding of Level Arctic Sea Ice
Dataset General Type ICE-CAMPS
Dataset Type Dataset
Dataset Level
Program Website https://asp-net.org/content/asp-2014-cambridge-bay-campaign
Keyword Vocabulary Polar Data Catalogue
Keyword Vocabulary URL https://www.polardata.ca/pdcinput/public/keywordlibrary
Theme Cryosphere
Dataset Status Complete
Maintenance and Update Frequency Continual
Dataset Last Revision Date 2014-06-27
Dataset DOI 10.5203/875s-dk76
Metadata Creation Date 2023
Publisher CanWIN
Field Value
Dataset Collection Start Date 2014-04-25
Dataset Collection End Date 2014-06-27
Spatial regions
Spatial extent West Bound Longitude
Spatial extent East Bound Longitude
Spatial extent South Bound Latitude
Spatial extent North Bound Latitude
Field Value
Sample Collection
Activity Collection Type
Preferred citation
Analytical Instrument
Analytical Method
Field Value
License Name Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Licence Type Open
Embargo Date
Licence URL https://spdx.org/licenses
Terms of Access

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Field Value
Dataset Authors
Dataset Authors 1
Mundy, C.J.
Type of Name
Centre for Earth Observation Science - University of Manitoba
Project Data Curator CanWIN
Project Data Curator email portalco@umanitoba.ca
Project Data Curator Affiliation Centre for Earth Observation Science - University of Manitoba
Field Value
Related Resources
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