The occurrence of arctic landfast ice is a measure of how often the ice appears at a location for a given month or a given year. In some areas, landfast ice can linger for years, but in other areas landfast ice occurs only during winter and disappears completely in summer. The occurrence of landfast ice is largely dependent on local weather, coastal configuration, and climate conditions.

The knowledge of fast ice occurrence is critical because its presence can impact various human activities such as hunting by indigenous inhabitants, marine shipping, and other economic explorations.  The presence of coastal ice can also affect the coastal environment through storm impact, coastal erosion, sediment transport, and biogeochemical cycling.

The following figure (a-d) show the climatology of the occurrence of landfast ice in the Arctic Basin. The estimates were derived from NIC weekly ice charts for the period 1974 to 2007. The winter condition is shown in Figure (a) for January; spring condition in Figure (b) for April, summer condition in Figure (c) for July; and fall condition in Figure (d) for October.

Any questions or requests for further information regarding the climatology of arctic landfast ice occurrence, please contact Yanling Yu (

Click each image for larger versions.

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