August 19, 2023

Hall Peninsula Ice Cap, Baffin Island Retains No Snowcover in 2023 Fosters Fragmentation

Posted by Mauri Pelto

Hall Peninsula Ice Cap east of Popham Bay is snow free on 8-14-2023. Comparison of Landsat images from 2014 and 2023 arrows indicate four locations where the ice cap is fragmenting and at each Point D is an emerging/expanding bedrock area amidst the ice cap.

Hall Peninsula is host to many glaciers and ice caps, almost all unnamed. Here we examine the largest ice cap on the Peninsula using Landsat and Sentinel images. This ice cap is shrinking like Grinnell Ice Cap and Terra Nivea Ice Cap due to limited retained snowcover most years.

The center of the ice cap is just over 1000 m in elevation. By early August in 2023 the ice cap had lost all snowcover. The emergence and expansion of a dozen bedrock areas amidst the ice cap indicates the ice cap is thinning across most of its extent. At Arrow C and E the ice cap has fragmented. At Arrow A and B the fragmentation is nearly complete. Given the lack of any retained snowcover in several recent years, this ice cap will not survive current climate conditions.

Hall Peninsula Ice Cap on 8-6-2023 in Sentinel images. Arrows indicate locations of fragmentation. Point D marks expanding bedrock areas amidst the ice cap.