Project Laptev-Sea System (2007-2012)

This is a joint project funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) that the University of Trier conducts in collaboration with the IFM-Geomar in Kiel and the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar- and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven.

The subproject associated with the University of Trier (subproject 4 - system steering processes and activities) aims at improving our understanding and quantification of the effects of the Laptev Sea polynyas on atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers. This goal is followed through a detailed investigation of the long-term variability and trends of polynya activity by means of satellite data analysis and numerical modeling of atmosphere-ice-ocean processes.

During the course of the first project stage (2007-2010) significant knowledge was gained with respect to the long-term polynya activity and associated ice formation. A non-hydrostatic atmospheric model was used in combination with a sea ice-ocean model to determine effects of a polynya on atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers [results: here].

The individual goals of the current project stage (2010-2012) are itemized as follows:

For the field of sea-ice remote sensing [data here]

  • Continued investigations of ice production in the Laptev Sea, taking into account methodological improvements achieved in the first project stage and knowledge gained from field data in 2008 and 2009.
  • Investigation of the inter-annual fast ice dynamics (growth, time of consolidation, stability)
  • Estimation of the influence of leads on the entire ice production in the Laptev Sea
  • Assessment of the importance of the Laptev Sea shelf for the sea-ice mass budget of the Arctic in comparison with other shelf regions.

For the field of numerical modeling

  • Improvement of understanding and quantification of polynya processes and ice formation during recent climate change by means of high-resolution sea ice – ocean – atmosphere modeling.
  • Determination of the influence of leads on new ice formation in comparison to polynyas.
  • Investigation of the role of the Laptev Sea for the Arctic sea-ice mass budget in past and present.
  • Validation of model results and development/improvement of model components with the aid of in-situ measurements and satellite data.