Dirty ice in Foxe Basin
Throughout most of the year, the waters of Foxe Basin are choked with sea ice. By the end of summer, however, open water typically dominates this part of the Canadian Arctic. That was the case when these images were acquired in September 2018, as small patches of ice lingered in the northern reaches of Hudson Bay around Prince Charles Island and Baffin Island.
This wide view image of Foxe Basin, Canadian Arctic, was acquired on 3 September, 2018, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite.
There are a number of reasons why ice can take on a brown tinge. Particles from natural and human sources - such as aerosols from industrial plants and ship emissions, or mineral dust from land - can blow in. Smoke particles from fires - such as those burning in Siberia in early July - also stream over the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. If these particles settle onto the ice, they can darken the surface and increase melting.
Airborne sources, however, are probably not the reason for the brown ice in these images. The Foxe Basin is known for sea ice that gets stained brown by sediment from the surrounding land or from the shallow sea-floor.
View the full resolution image.
Credit: © NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response and Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.