Roads on thinner ice

Scientific questions:

  • How is river ice conditions responding to climate warming in Yakutia?
  • To what extent is ice thickness variable over river cross-sections?
  • To what extent is usability of river ice forecasts improved if spatial variability of ice thickness is included in the model?
  • To what extent can river ice forecasting models be improved by satellite data?
Ice roads are the most important transportation routes in Yakutia during the winter. Ice thickness reduction and shortening of ice cover period lengths are reported for some locations in Yakutia. Analysis of available historical long-term ice observations at all ice roads locations provided by Management of Highways of Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) will be performed to identify trends of ice thickness and ice cover period lengths. Additional field survey at selected river ice roads will be performed to obtain GPR data on ice thickness distribution along the river cross-section to assess variability of ice depth across the river. These data will be used for development and verification of river ice forecasting system.