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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2006-01-01
    Description: A polynya appears regularly in Storfjorden on the east side of the Svalbard archipelago. It is mainly forced by offshore winds and contributes around 10% of the brine water produced on Arctic shelves. We have applied a regional ocean model (ROMS), including a sea-ice model, on a fine grid (2 km) to simulate a full year of sea-ice growth and decay starting on 1 August 1999. This allows us to reproduce some key processes of the polynya opening and closing events during January–April 2000. The polynya remains open as long as the offshore winds exist, and reaches a width along the direction of the wind of 10–20 km. We suggest using a mean sea-ice thickness of
    Print ISSN: 0260-3055
    Electronic ISSN: 1727-5644
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2011-01-01
    Description: Grease ice is a mixture of sea water and frazil ice crystals forming in Arctic and Antarctic waters. the initial grease-ice cover, or the grease ice forming during winter in leads and polynyas, may therefore have mixed properties of water and ice. Most sea-ice models use a lower thickness limit on the solid sea ice, representing a transition from grease ice to solid ice. Before grease ice solidifies it is often packed into a layer by the local wind. Existing field measurements of grease ice are compared and used to evaluate a new thickness parameterization including the drag from the wind as well as the ocean current. the measurements support a scaling of the wind drag and the back pressure from the grease-ice layer using a nonlinear relation. the relation is consistent with an increasing grease-ice thickness towards a solid boundary. Grease-ice data from Storfjorden, Svalbard, confirm that tidal currents are strong enough to add significant drag force on the grease ice. A typical wind speed of only 10ms −1 results in a 0.3m thick layer of grease ice. Tidal currents of 0.5ms −1 will pack the grease ice further towards a stagnant boundary to a mean thickness of 0.8 m.
    Print ISSN: 0260-3055
    Electronic ISSN: 1727-5644
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2015-01-01
    Description: The first stage of sea-ice formation is often grease ice, a mixture of sea water and frazil ice crystals. Over time, grease ice typically congeals first to pancake ice floes and then to a solid sea-ice cover. Grease ice is commonly not explicitly simulated in basin-scale sea-ice ocean models, though it affects oceanic heat loss and ice growth and is expected to play a greater role in a more seasonally ice-covered Arctic Ocean. We present an approach to simulate the grease-ice layer with, as basic properties, the surface being at the freezing point, a frazil ice volume fraction of 25%, and a negligible change in the surface heat flux compared to open water. The latter governs grease-ice production, and a gradual transition to solid sea ice follows, with ∼50% of the grease ice solidifying within 24 hours. The new parameterization delays lead closing by solid ice formation, enhances oceanic heat loss in fall and winter, and produces a grease-ice layer that is variable in space and time. Results indicate a 10-30% increase in mean winter Arctic Ocean heat loss compared to a standard simulation, with instant lead closing leading to significantly enhanced ice growth.
    Print ISSN: 0260-3055
    Electronic ISSN: 1727-5644
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2009-01-01
    Description: In situ field measurements of an active polynya in Storfjorden, Svalbard, during April 2006 are presented. A surface heat flux, estimated to be 400 W m−2, produced frazil ice that was advected away from the fast ice edge during the end of a polynya event driven by cold winds from the northeast. Conductivity, temperature and depth casts from the fast ice edge of the polynya were calibrated by accompanying water samples, and reveal a supercooling event that lasted for 3 days in a 5 m deep water column. Surface salinity reached 35.9 psu from brine release during ice growth. The maximum supercooling measured was 0.037 ± 0.005°C below the in situ freezing point near the surface and 0.016 ± 0.005°C at the bottom; the mean supercooling gradient was 0.020 ± 0.005°C between the surface and the bottom. These measurements are consistent with results from a one-dimensional frazil ice model, confirming that such supercooling levels can be expected. Frazil ice concentrations in the water were modeled to be lower than 0.02 g L−1, due to advection in the surface layer. Seven frazil/grease ice samples taken from a place where advection was blocked along the fast ice edge showed a mean salinity of 26.2 psu, indicating 25% frazil ice and 75% sea water in the grease ice. The water-column salinity decreased during the measurement period due to less saline water replacing newly formed brine-enriched shelf water flowing down to deeper parts of Storfjorden. The supercooling ceased when the wind direction turned to the east, with higher air temperatures and warmer and less saline water being pushed into Storfjorden by the northward Ekman transport. These are the first in situ observations from an active Arctic polynya with concurrent sampling of hydrography and frazil ice, and the supercooling is the maximum observed in recent years with modern and accurate instrumentation.
    Print ISSN: 0022-1430
    Electronic ISSN: 1727-5652
    Topics: Geography , Geosciences
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