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Wave measurements on sea ice: developments in instrumentation

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Traditional methods of measuring the propagation of waves originating from ocean swell and other sources have relied on wire strain gauges, accelerometers or tiltmeters. All methods required constant attention to keep in range, while data recovery has demanded that the instrument site be revisited. In this paper, we describe the use of ultra-sensitive tiltmeters and novel re-zeroing techniques to autonomously gather wave data from both polar regions. A key feature of our deployments has been the use of the Iridium satellite communications system as a way of ensuring continuous data recovery and remote control of the instrumentation. Currently four instruments have been successfully reporting from the Arctic Ocean for over 18 months, with two further units deployed in 2005, one in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, and one additional unit in the Arctic.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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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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