Lake Superior Ice Impacting Shipping

Posted 12 January 2014 by in Featured

Latest Lake Superior Ice Coverage Report from Government of Canada.

Latest Lake Superior Ice Coverage Report from Government of Canada.

Thick Ice Coverage on Lake Superior

THUNDER BAY – Extreme cold weather through the past several weeks have built up ice on Lake Superior. The ice pack on Lake Superior has the potential to build an ice bridge to Isle Royale. U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers have been working in the Thunder Bay Harbour.

The thicker than usual ice pack has implications for the 2014 Shipping Season if it is thicker than average. It could delay the start of the shipping season on Lake Superior.

Also of concern is the possibility of the ice pack over the lake building an ice bridge out to Isle Royale.

Considering that the wolf pack on Isle Royale made it to the island on an ice bridge, the potential of a new ice bridge forming has scientists watching that carefully. In 2012 the wolf population on the island fell to nine wolves. In 2013 the number fell to twelve. It is hoped that some of the wolf pups born this year will help bolster the population.

The fall in wolf population is being seen as being close related to the falling moose population on the island.

MODIS / NASA image showing the Great Lakes and the impact of the Arctic Vortex forming fog over the lakes.

MODIS / NASA image showing the Great Lakes and the impact of the Arctic Vortex forming fog over the lakes.

Lake Superior Ice Conditions

The depth of ice on the Great Lakes is monitored by the Canadian and American Governments.

Lake Superior Ice depth map

NOAA Map showing ice depth on Lake Superior.

As the weather changes, the depth of ice, and the impact on Lake Superior will change.

Keep up-to-date on the latest Great Lakes Shipping – Visit Ships in Port.