April 10, 2024 - Ice in the Sea of Okhotsk


On April 3, 2024, the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired a gorgeous true-color image of ice drifting on the Sea of Okhotsk. The large patch of floating ice sits just east of Sakhalin Island, Russia’s largest island. Thick, bright fast ice can be seen clinging to the coast of Sakhalin.

Ice forms in the Sea of Okhotsk each winter, thanks to frigid westerly winds that stream out of Russia’s Far East. Ice formation is also aided by the freshwater inflow from the large Amur River. With freshwater mixing, the Sea becomes less saline, and the water will freeze at higher temperatures than salt water. Aided by these features, the Sea of Okhotsk is the southernmost sea in the Northern Hemisphere that freezes seasonally.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 4/5/2024
Resolutions: 1km (165.8 KB), 500m (397.1 KB), 250m (958.7 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC