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Stress and deformation characteristics of sea ice in a high-resolution, anisotropic sea ice model

Heorton, H. D. B. S., Feltham, D. L. and Tsamados, M. (2018) Stress and deformation characteristics of sea ice in a high-resolution, anisotropic sea ice model. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 376 (2129). 20170349. ISSN 1364-503X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2017.0349


The drift and deformation of sea ice floating on the polar oceans is caused by the applied wind and ocean currents. Over ocean basin length scales the internal stresses and boundary conditions of the sea ice pack result in observable deformation patterns. Cracks and leads can be observed in satellite images and within the velocity fields generated from floe tracking. In a climate sea ice model the deformation of sea ice over ocean basin length scales is modelled using a rheology that represents the relationship between stresses and deformation within the sea ice cover. Here we investigate the link between emergent deformation characteristics and the underlying internal sea ice stresses using the Los Alamos numerical sea ice climate model. We have developed an idealized square domain, focusing on the role of sea ice rheologies in producing deformation at spatial resolutions of up to 500 m. We use the elastic anisotropic plastic (EAP) and elastic viscous plastic (EVP) rheologies, comparing their stability, with the EAP rheology producing sharper deformation features than EVP at all space and time resolutions. Sea ice within the domain is forced by idealized winds, allowing for the emergence of five distinct deformation types. Two for a low confinement ratio: convergent and expansive stresses. Two about a critical confinement ratio: isotropic and anisotropic conditions. One for a high confinement ratio and isotropic sea ice. Using the EAP rheology and through the modification of initial conditions and forcing, we show the emergence of the power law of strain rate, in accordance with observations.This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling of sea-ice phenomena'.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:78976
Uncontrolled Keywords:deformation, rheology, sea ice
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing


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