Seasonal development of the sea-ice thickness distribution in East Antarctica: measurements from upward-looking sonar
Abstract:Upward-looking sonar (ULS) data are presented from a prototype instrument deployed at 63°18' S, 107°49' E in 1994. These data show the seasonal evolution of the ice-draft distribution from May when predominantly thin ice is present, through October when substantially thicker ice has been formed by deformation. The mean ice draft reaches a maximum in August at 1.21m, the same month in which ship-based observations from the same region show a peak in ice thickness. The observed distribution from ULS data is only for drafts >0.3 m due to data losses caused by the low acoustic reflectivity of actively forming ice. The spring distributions show very little development of drafts >3.0 m, and it is hypothesized that this is due to the cyclical nature of deformation in the East Antarctic pack-ice zone, and that periods of sustained pressure required to form very thick ice are uncommon in this region.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2001
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