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Freshwater Influx from Sea Ice Moving through the Bering Strait

In February, LT Cindy Travers, science department, presented a poster on freshwater influx from sea ice moving through the Bering Strait, a narrow passage separating the Bering Sea from the Arctic Ocean. The poster was presented in Salt Lake City, Utah at a joint conference of the Oceanography Society, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and American Geophysical Union.  

In her poster, Travers and colleagues at the University of Washington describe a net northward movement of sea ice through the Bering Strait, with southerly flow during late winter and spring. Previously, little sea ice was thought to move through the Bering Strait, an impression formed, in part, by the lack of remote instrumentation available to measure ice movement on an annual basis. 

Travers and her colleagues used data collected by Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) to produce novel estimates of the annual rate of freshwater flux attributable to sea ice through the Bering Strait. Estimates of sea ice flux in this region play a central role in understanding seasonal patterns in oceanographic circulation, which in turn influence important ecological processes. Estimates also aid in characterizing risk posed by sea ice to maritime transportation in the region.