Geography: Greenland covers an area of 2.16 mill. km2, of which 410,500 km2 (slightly more than the size of California or Sweden) is free of ice. Greenland stretches from 60°N to 82°N a distance of almost 2500 km and climate is thus very variable along the Greenland coast.
Sea ice and icebergs: Within the Licensing Round areas on the south-west coast, the climate is mild arctic, strongly influenced by the tail end of the warm Gulf Stream (Fig. 7.2), which keeps winter temperatures above 20°C (-4°F). Most of the area is navigable all year round (Fig. 7.3).
Experience from the 70s and from summer 2000 shows that icebergs are not a major problem for neither seismic acquisition nor drilling activities. In the 70s, there was no registered down-time due to ice problems. In summer, 2000 when icebergs were present in the Fylla licence area, actual down-time due to icebergs problems was as low as 33 hours (Fig. 7.4).
Data on sea-ice distribution may be obtained from:
The Danish Meteorological Insititute (in Danish only) or:
The NOOA National Ice Center
Wind: Greenland waters are often perceived as having some of the most harsh weather conditions on Earth. This is, however, not true. Although storms can be strong, both wind and wave conditions in the Licensing Round areas are generally less severe than those encountered in e.g. the northern North Sea and in the Faroes-Shetland region (Fig. 7.5).
Data reports: Two extensive data reports on the environmental conditions of the West Greenland offshore areas are available on CD-ROM from BMP and summary reports based on these data have also been published. A report on iceberg distribution in the eastern part of the Davis Strait has been prepared by theGreenland Survey (Asiaq) and theDanish Meteorological Institute
Davis Strait physical environmental report (pdf-file, 6.8 MB).
Baffin Bay physical environmental report (pdf-file, 5.3 MB).
Eastern Davis Strait iceberg distribution report (pdf-file, 2 MB)