Guillaume Couture


Master’s degree in Geomatics


Alexandre Langlois

Field of research

Spatial and temporal analyses of polynya formation in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Temperatures in the Arctic are increasing almost twice as fast as the rest of the world. This amplification leads to downward trends in the spatial distribution of sea ice. In winter, some regions are freed from ice by the action of dynamic and thermodynamic processes. These regions are known as polynyas and occur naturally in polar regions. No studies currently appear to have been done on spatio-temporal trends in polynya formation in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA), while an increase in their occurrence could lead to accelerated ice melt during the melting period. Radar sensors represent an interesting avenue for detecting these regions due to their low spatial resolution and low sensitivity to weather and solar conditions. Thus, the main objective of the project is to analyze spatial and temporal trends in polynya formation using images from RADARSAT satellite platforms and sea ice charts from the Canadian Ice Centre. In addition, the specific characteristics of ice conducive to the formation of polynyas will be analyzed following a field campaign in May 2019.


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