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The influence of ocean flow on newly forming sea ice

Feltham, D. L., Worster,, M. G. and Wettlaufer, J. S. (2002) The influence of ocean flow on newly forming sea ice. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107 (C2). ISSN 0148-0227

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2000JC000559


The heat and mass balance of the Arctic Ocean is very sensitive to the growth and decay of sea ice and the interaction between the heat and salt fields in the oceanic boundary layer. The hydraulic roughness of sea ice controls the detailed nature of turbulent fluxes in the boundary layer and hence is an important ingredient in model parameterizations. We describe a novel mechanism for the generation of corrugations of the sea ice–ocean interface, present a mathematical analysis elucidating the mechanism, and present numerical calculations for geophysically relevant conditions. The mechanism relies on brine flows developing in the sea ice due to Bernoulli suction by flow of ocean past the interface. For oceanic shears at the ice interface of 0.2 s−1, we expect the corrugations to form with a wavelength dependent upon the permeability structure of the sea ice which is described herein. The mechanism should be particularly important during sea ice formation in wind-maintained coastal polynyas and in leads. This paper applies our earlier analyses of the fundamental instability to field conditions and extends it to take account of the anisotropic and heterogeneous permeability of sea ice.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:35294
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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