Canadian Ice Thickness Program


Environment Canada

Principal contact


Project web site


Weekly bore holes or hotwire thickness guage were used to mesure the thickness of specific locations on fast ice. This data collection contains ice thickness and snow depth measurements for sites going back as far as 1947 for the first stations established in the Canadian Arctic (Eureka and Resolute). Record length varies from station to station. Most of the data in the current archive at Environment Canada’s Canadian Ice Service (CIS) has been collected by Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service, but some data is provided by other organizations such as the St-Lawrence Seaway Authority, Trent University, and Queen’s University.

Measurements are taken at approximately the same location every year on a weekly basis, starting after freeze-up when the ice is safe to walk on, and continuing until break-up or when the ice becomes unsafe. The location is selected close to shore, but over a depth of water which will exceed the maximum ice thickness. Ice thickness is measured to the nearest centimetre using either a special auger kit or a hot wire ice thickness gauge. The depth of snow on the ice at the location of the ice thickness measurement is also measured and reported to the nearest centimetre. Measurements after 1982 include additional information such as the character of the ice surface, water features and method of observation.


27 Coastal stations in the Canadian Archepelago. We include here only stations that measured sea ice, not lake ice.

Time interval


Data processing notes

Monthly summaries were found for each station, usually 3 to 4 observations per month.

V20140808: added three years of data for eight stations

Number of samples

22195 point samples, 6242 monthly averages



PDF Data

Not computed since there are so few observations per month.

Point data



Map of the locations of the coastal stations

map of station locations

click to enlarge

Time series of all monthly samples

time series of all monthly samples