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Comparison of different ridge formation models of Arctic sea ice with observations from laser profiling

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Sea ice deforms under convergent and shear motion, causing rafting and ridging. This results in thicker ice than could be formed by thermodynamic growth only. Three different approaches to simulating the formation of pressure ridges in a dynamic–thermodynamic continuum model are considered. They are compared with and evaluated by airborne laser profiles of the sea-ice surface roughness. The respective characteristic of each of the three ridging schemes is (1) a prognostic equation for deformation energy from which ridge parameters are derived; (2) a redistribution function, shifting ice between two categories, level and ridged, combined with a Monte Carlo simulation for ridge parameters; and (3) prognostic equations for ridge density and height, resulting in the formation of ridged-ice volume. The model results show that the ridge density is typically related to the state of ice motion, whereas the mean sail height is related to the parent ice thickness. In general, all of the three models produce realistic distributions of ridges. Finally, the second ridging scheme is regarded as the most appropriate for climate modelling, while the third scheme has advantages in short-term sea-ice forecasting.

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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