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Observation of sea-ice thickness fluctuation in the seasonal ice-covered area during 1992–99 winters

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Sea-ice fluctuations in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea during the winters of 1992–99 were investigated by using the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager dataset and a new ice-property retrieval algorithm. This algorithm can distinguish between ice types such as fast ice, floes, young ice and new ice, in an area covered by concentrations of >80% ice, and also has improved display resolution because it uses one of the 85 GHz channels. The ice thicknesses derived from the ice-thickness parameter of the new algorithm were compared with ship-based ice-thickness measurements, and were assumed to be 1–10, 11–34, 35–85 and 86–120 cm for new ice, young ice, floes (first-year ice) and fast ice, respectively. The results showed that ice volume can be small even if the ice area is large, due to thinness of the ice (e.g. in 1999 in the Sea of Okhotsk). A significant out-of-phase response, i.e. ice volume is larger in the Sea of Okhotsk when ice volume is smaller in the Bering Sea, was observed. The period of this see-saw showed two different time-scales, which were short (1 week) and long (2–4 weeks).

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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