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UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS
Alaska Arctic Observatory & Knowledge Hub: Community-based observations of changes in the seasonal cycle in Alaska's Arctic

Ice breakout event at Utqiagvik

Billy Adams recently recorded an “ice breakout” event offshore of Utqiagvik. The landfast sea ice in front of town detached with the recent warm temperatures and winds, which is quite unusual for February.

This event has big implications for safe travel, hunting, wildlife management, etc. Billy’s photos are below.

  • Location Browerville, a few pools of water here and there. (Billy Adams)
  • Looking towards town. (Billy Adams)
  • Large pressure ridge. There are are other large ridges north of Nuvuk too. (Billy Adams)
  • man kayaking with icebergs
    The large ice chunks going by. (Billy Adams)
  • The great hunter, now you can see the pressure ridge way in the back of the photo that held the ice together. (Billy Adams)
  • In front of Browerville, here the shore ice goes out to a large pressure ridge where I mentioned a few days ago that it should hold ice around the area and it did. (Billy Adams)
  • Nuvuk looking towards town. The pack ice has a few large heavy chunks and is about 1/2 mile out going north. (Billy Adams)
  • Location Nuvuk, south east winds 10 mph, temperature 20F, cloudy with a few breaks in the clouds and visibility to 5 miles. The ridges just north of Nuvuk are holding up. There is a southerly current at about 1-2 mph going north as you can see the newly frozen slush is gathering here. (Billy Adams)