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Characterization of sea-ice kinematic in the Arctic outflow region using buoy data
  • Published Date:
    2016
Filetype[PDF - 1.56 MB]


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  • Description:
    A four-buoy array was deployed in August 2010 to measure differential ice motion and to assess ice kinematics in light of environmental conditions from the central Arctic Ocean into the Fram Strait. The dynamic setting of the Transpolar Drift Stream (TDS) and the Fram Strait shaped the ice motion and deformation. On a synoptic scale, the ice drift was largely forced by surface winds, with atmospheric forcing accounting for 33-71% of ice-drift variability. Ice drift was closely aligned with the surface winds, except during quiescent conditions, or at times when the wind direction reversed from the dominant direction, i.e., anomalous winds blow against the TDS under the negative Arctic atmospheric Diplole Anomaly (DA). The inertially-induced ice motion weakened gradually from the zone of compacted ice to the marginal ice zone. As ice drifted south of the Fram Strait, its concentration dropped quite dramatically, the ice speed increased, and ice trajectories became more straightforward. As sea ice drifted through the Fram Strait, the acceleration and convergence of the ice was responsible for further substantial ice-field deformation. From a comparison between our updated ice kinematic data and the historic data from 1990, we find that the ice-drift time from the central Arctic Ocean into the Fram Strait was at a low level after 2007, and the ice-drift time can be explained by a monthly mean DA index at the 99% significance level. The DA-derived wind anomalies more effectively influence the ice-drift time via accelerating meridional ice velocity and reducing the curvature of ice-drift trajectory, compared to zonal sea ice divergence (convergence) caused by the positive (negative) phase of Arctic Oscillation (AO).