Growth, properties and relation to radar backscatter coefficient of sea ice in Lützow-Holm Bay, Antarctica
Abstract:Based on studies in the Antarctic Oceans, the contribution of the snow cover to sea-ice growth has become of major interest. Snow can result in upward ice growth in contrast with ordinary downward congelation growth at the bottom. A sea-ice study was conducted to verify the upward ice growth found in a previous study and to investigate the relation between sea-ice growth and radar backscattering signature. Sea-ice samples collected at four points in Lützow-Holm Bay, Antarctica, from 1998 to 2003 are analyzed. Analyses of snow-/ice-gauge measurements, snow depth and ice structure reveal an extremely large amount of upward ice growth of up to 1.0 m during one full year compared with a slight amount of downward growth. The upward growth was caused mostly by snow ice and to a lesser extent by superimposed ice. The salinity profile remained unchanged, although the ice survived the summer melt season. Characteristics of superimposed ice such as salinity, 18 O values and structure were obliterated during the summer, implying complete melting or dissolution of the superimposed layer. The ERS-2 backscatter showed a remarkable annual variation: It had a minimum value in midsummer and increased abruptly to a maximum value in late summer, then decreasing gradually in wintertime. The relation of the backscatter coefficient to the growth and properties of the snow cover and sea ice are discussed.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2006
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