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Solidification of leads: approximate solutions of non-linear problem

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We present new analytical results relating to the growth and evolution of sea ice. It is noteworthy that thin sea ice plays a central role in the surface heat and mass balance of the Arctic Ocean. In order to describe these balances, we analyze highly resolved temperature data taken through the air/sea/ice interface during the transition from an ice-free to an ice-covered Arctic Ocean surface. Our detailed analysis of the field data is based on the classical model of a mushy layer, which is modified in order to obtain analytical solutions in explicit form (so, for example, ice thickness and growth rate, temperature distributions, conductive and latent heat fluxes are determined). Furthermore, we find that the sea-ice growth is not simply a square-root function of time. It depends on the temperature variations in the atmosphere and lies between two square-root functions of time for the maximum and minimum temperatures found during observations. The theory under consideration is in good agreement with observations.

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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