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Sea-ice kinematics measured with GPS drifters

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A sea-ice dynamics experiment was performed in the Baltic Sea in March 1997. A new type of drifter was constructed based on the global positioning system and mobile-phone data transmission. The drifters worked well and the accuracy was reasonable (std dev. 40 m). Five drifters were used to map ice kinematics in a 20 km size array in the coastal drift-ice zone. The study included periods of onshore motion with ridge formation, and alongshore motion with narrow shear lines. The motion of ice largely occurred in short pulses between which the field stood nearly still. The level of ice speed was much less than that of free drift, while the deformation field was more uniaxial due to the presence of the solid boundary. Drift-ice strength was estimated as 4 × 104N m−2. Large deformation rates of up to 2% h−1 were observed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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