ArcticNet - About us


Anna Crawford
PhD Candidate - Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Carleton University

(Biography) I started the PhD program at Carleton University in the fall of 2013 and am excited to be pursuing research on ice islands of the Canadian Arctic - most specifically those originating from the floating glacial tongue of the Petermann Glacier/Ice Shelf of northwestern Greenland. I first conducted ice island field work from the CCGS Amundsen with ArcticNet's Annual Science Cruise during the fall of 2011 as part of my MSc degree. I am interested in the processes of ice island drift and deterioration and my research combines empirical, modeling and remote-sensing methods of analysis.


Project Member

Freshwater Resources of the Eastern Canadian Arctic

Student Information

Thesis Title:
MSc thesis (2013): Ice island deterioration in the Canadian Arctic: Rates, patterns and model evaluation

Thesis Abstract:
Knowledge regarding the deterioration processes of large tabular icebergs, known as ice islands, is limited within the Canadian Arctic. This study analyzed ice island deterioration through two aspects: 1) horizontal (areal) and 2) vertical (surface melt or ‘ablation’). Satellite images were digitized to monitor areal dimensions, classify deterioration modes and correlate deterioration rates with environmental variables. The rates of deterioration were different between the Eastern and Western Canadian Arctic regions possibly due to differences in air temperature and sea ice concentration. Validation of operational surface ablation models was also carried out with in-situ microclimate measurements. The Canadian Ice Service iceberg model under-predicted surface ablation by 68%, while a more complete energy-balance model developed for ice islands improved output accuracy (7.5% under-prediction). These analyses will provide useful knowledge regarding the deterioration process of ice islands to offshore stakeholders for mitigation of risks associated with ice island hazards to offshore operations.

Network Supervisors:
Derek Mueller

Primary Address