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Ice Motion from IABP Buoys

Methods

Buoy locations from the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP) "C" data set were interpolated to six-hour intervals on the EASE-Grid. Using the 12:00 GMT positions, the distance the buoys traveled in a 24-hour period were calculated. The number of buoys and their locations varies from year to year, but the maximum number is about 30 buoys. Usually these buoys are widely spaced; very few are placed in the Eastern Arctic.

The following image shows ice motion from buoys on 20 April 2000.

AVHRR orbital pass
Daily-averaged ice motion vectors from buoys

Accuracy

It is difficult to assign an error value to a buoy velocity. The position accuracy of the buoys is about 0.5 km. The locations are interpolated to the 6-hour interval times. The accuracy is then dependent upon the initial position error and the interpolation error. It could be assumed that the overall error would be less than 1 cm/sec for the average velocity over 24-hours.