Ships and Waves Reaching Polar Regions

Ships and Waves Reaching Polar Regions



SWARP will develop downstream services for sea ice and waves forecast in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) in the Arctic. Waves in ice are one of the most hazardous phenomena for vessels and industrial activities in the polar seas, but there are presently no services providing any information about either the waves themselves or their effects on the ice state (in particular the distribution of ice floe sizes). The monitoring and forecasting systems developed in SWARP aim to become operational by the middle of the project, filling a gap in the present marine core and downstream services of GMES. A waves-in-ice model will be first validated then included in the forecasting services provided downstream of MyOcean (Arctic sea ice forecast) and as part of Prévimer (global wave forecasts). In addition to wave and sea ice forecast models, the project will develop satellite observation methods for waves in ice and other ice properties in the MIZ such as ice concentration, ice types, ice thickness, ice drift and ice edge configuration. Existing and new satellite observing systems, especially SAR, optical and altimeter data, will be utilized for retrieval of waves and other ice properties in the MIZ. The project will be exploited operationally using data from future GMES satellites such as Sentinel-1. The project will integrate the new met-ocean services in state-of-the-art services for onboard navigation and shore-based contingency planning.


Belem statement areas
Polar Research
Time frame
2013 - 2017


Knut Holba
Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center