Unusual beige ice drifting in the Foxe Basin • Earth.com

Unusual beige ice drifting in the Foxe Basin

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a satellite view of beige ice drifting in the Foxe Basin, which is located off Baffin Island north of the Hudson Bay.

When English mariner William Baffin explored this particular basin about 400 years ago, he documented the tan color of the sea ice. In this image – captured on June 22, 2016 – the ice drifting south of Prince Charles Island still appears beige. 

According to NASA, the color is likely due to staining from silt and sediment – particles of eroded rock and soil that accumulate on the ocean floor. 

Since land surrounds the Foxe Basin, there are an abundance of sediment sources. In addition, wind and waves stir up sediment from the ocean floor.

The particles ultimately become embedded in the ice. 

“Some of the color could also be caused by algae, which can grow under the ice and wash up onto the surface during storms,” NASA reports.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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