This video is based on data acquisitions from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission between 3 October and 31 October 2019. It remains constantly centred on the Polarstern (bright dot starting at the centre of the grid). Polarstern is a German research icebreaker spending a year trapped and drifting in the Arctic sea ice so that scientists from around the world can study the Arctic as the epicentre of global warming and gain fundamental insights that are key to better understand global climate change.
The video shows how the initial grid distorts over time by the uneven ice drift over time within the grid array. This results in opening (ice divergence) and closing (ice compression and ridging), shear and vorticity. This shear caused a massive crack to form through the experiment ice floe, disrupting the experiments and forcing movement of some of the instrumentation. Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by R. Kwok (JPL)