We test the ability of a two-dimensional flux model to simulate polynya events with narrow open-water zones by comparing model results to ice-thickness and ice-production estimates derived from thermal infrared Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations in conjunction with an atmospheric dataset. Given a polynya boundary and an atmospheric dataset, the model correctly reproduces the shape of an 11 day long event, using only a few simple conservation laws. Ice production is slightly overestimated by the model, owing to an underestimated ice thickness. We achieved best model results with the consolidation thickness parameterization developed by Biggs and others (2000). Observed regional discrepancies between model and satellite estimates might be a consequence of the missing representation of the dynamic of the thin-ice thickening (e.g. rafting). We conclude that this simplified polynya model is a valuable tool for studying polynya dynamics and estimating associated fluxes of single polynya events.