Antarctic Record (Nov 2003)

Frequent sea-ice breakup in Lutzow-Holmbukta, Antarctica, based on analysis of ice condition from 1980 to 2003

  • Shuki Ushio

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 47, no. 3
pp. 338 – 348


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The history of sea-ice breakup in Lutzow-Holmbukta, Antarctica, has been investigated for the period 1980-2003. Though spatial and temporal scales for breakups are different among each event, breakup phenomena have occurred at least 19 times. The geographical sites of breakups are almost the same in the bay and commencement is usually in autumn. In particular, the 1997/1998 event covered a wide area and was of long duration. Since then, autumn to early winter breakup has continued until winter 2003. It is suggested that a southerly wind field, small snow depth and mild winter prior to the breakup are factors which favor breakup events.