Sea-ice drift characteristics revealed by measurement of acoustic Doppler current profiler and ice-profiling sonar off Hokkaido in the Sea of Okhotsk

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In the southwestern part of the Sea of Okhotsk off Hokkaido, sea-ice drift characteristics are investigated using the ice and water velocities obtained from a moored upward-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) during the winters of 1999–2001. Using hourly-mean values of these data along with the wind data measured at a nearby coastal station, the wind factor and turning angle of the relative velocity between the ice and water velocities with respect to the wind are calculated assuming free drift under various conditions. Since the simultaneous sea-ice draft data are also available from a moored ice-profiling sonar (IPS), we examine the dependence of drift characteristics on ice thickness for the first time. As ice thickness increases and wind decreases, the wind factor decreases and the turning angle increases, as predicted by the theory of free drift. This study clearly shows the utility of the moored ADCP measurement for studying sea-ice drift, especially with the simultaneous IPS measurement for ice thickness, which cannot be obtained by other methods.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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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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