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ice tracks shift

Sea Ice Isn't Terra Firma

In March 2010, WHOI researchers journeyed to the sea ice off the coast of Barrow, Alaska, to test whether an untethered underwater vehicle called REMUS could be sent into an ice hole to explore the ocean and navigate itself back. The experiment was successful. WHOI oceanographer Al Plueddemann said it was the first time an autonomous underwater vehicle was used in this difficult, dynamic environment, where rapidly changing wind and ocean conditions can suddenly crack and shift a flat field of ice into a jumble of open water and towering ice wedges. In fact, that happened, destroying the researchers' first ice camp. See an audio slideshow on the expedition. (Photo by Amy Kukulya, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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