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Indirect measurements of the mass balance of summer Arctic sea ice with an electromagnetic induction technique

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In the framework of the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic (SHEBA) study, indirect, non-invasive ice mass-balance measurements were carried out at a drifting station in the northern Chukchi Sea between May and August 1998. Ice thickness was derived from electromagnetic induction (EM) measurements of apparent conductivity along13 profiles (60–900 m long). As shown through sensitivity studies with a one-dimensional model, the apparent conductivity data from individual points can be inverted to yield estimates of ice thickness and ablation with an accuracy of approximately 0.05 m (for 2 m thick level ice). Ablation rates were 8–18 mm d−1, with total ablation amounting to roughly 0.9–1.2 m. Measurements of thickness and melt rates along different profiles in undeformed multi-year ice corresponded closely, indicating that the sampling statistics are adequate. The roughness of undeformed ice has been found to increase during the summer due to deepening of melt ponds and enhanced bottom melt. Ice under melt ponds was disproportionately thinner, most likely a result of thicker snow cover reducing winter accretion.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2001-01-01

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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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