Superimposed-ice formation in summer on Ross Sea pack-ice floes
Abstract:Austral summer sea-ice processes were investigated in January 1999 during a cruise of the R.V. Nathaniel B. Palmer in the central and eastern Ross Sea, Antarctica. The crystal texture, 18O/16O ratios, density and salinity of ice cores and of ice blocks 'perched' on slush at the ice surface were studied. The perched ice blocks had a distinctive polygonal granular (PG) crystal texture and very negative isotope signature that were also characteristic of layers at the top of first-year floes and of layers 'buried' below the surface in multi-year floes. The PG ice is superimposed ice that results from melting in the snow cover and refreezing at the slush surface and directly on top of ice floes. If PG ice is buried after the ice surface floods and the resultant slush freezes, then snow ice forms above the PG ice. The contribution of superimposed ice to floe surface mass balance and some implications with respect to weather and climate are discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-06-01
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