Satellite image of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Modified by Tina Riche from a black and white image courtesy of the Shoe Cove Satellite Station, Shoe Cove, Conception Bay, Newfoundland.
NOAA 6 satellite image, in the visible (red and green)
waveband. Image obtained by the United States National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and acquired by the Canada
Centre for Remote Sensing.
Taken on the 11th March 1980 at 1136 GMT or 0806 NST (7:16 a.m.
sun time in Western Labrador).
The photograph shows the late winter pack ice off the eastern
coasts of Labrador and the island of Newfoundland.
The pack ice is generated within the region as landfast ice or
new growth offshore, but incorporates varying amounts of ice from
Baffin Bay, Hudson Strait and the high Arctic, some of which is
multi-year ice. The movement of the pack is generally southward
and landward under the control of the Labrador Current and the
Coriolis force. Daily (and hourly) changes in the distribution
and pattern of the ice, on the other hand, result from variability
in the atmospheric controls, that is, wind direction and strength.
From the 2nd to the 8th of March the prevailing wind had been between
westerly and southwesterly over much of Labrador and the island. As a
result, the main pack had moved off the eastern coasts by the morning
of the 11th, leaving a series of large open-water leads immediately
offshore. The more compact windward (western) edge of the pack contrasts
markedly with the diffuse, irregular and embayed, or "loose" condition
of the leeward (eastern) edge, characterised by sea leads,
polynyas, ice-tongues and open-water bights.
Considerable amounts of locally generated landfast ice remain along
much of the Labrador Coast, especially north of Groswater Bay where
the highly indented coast and numerous offshore islands encourage
its persistence. Landfast ice has largely disappeared from the island's
eastern and western coasts, reflecting the mild winter of 1979/80
An open-water zone or 'lake' is also evident immediately off the west
coast of the island, which can be attributed to southeasterly winds
associated with high pressure along the east coast during the 24 hours
immediately prior to the time of the photograph. Such a circulation
would tend to force the inshore Gulf ice to retreat northwestward and
off-shore. The same phenomenon on a smaller scale can be seen at the
bottom left edge of the photograph. on the western side of Grindstone
Further evidence of the mild winter is the fact that Gander and Grand Lakes
are already clear of ice, although Lake Melville in Labrador is still blockaded.
The photograph also shows contrasts between snow-covered open areas-such
as the 'caribou barrens' of the south coast of the island, the burnt-over
area northeast of Gander, the Long Range Mountains, and the Labrador Coast-
and the forested areas of the island's interior.