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Comparison of seasonal sea-ice thickness change in the Transpolar Drift observed by local ice mass-balance observations and floe-scale EM surveys

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Local and transect ice-thickness measurements were performed between May and November 2007 on an ice floe in the Transpolar Drift of the Arctic Ocean using an ice mass-balance buoy and electromagnetic induction (EM) sounding. Repeated EM surveys along an originally 2160 m long profile including level and deformed ice showed that between June and September modal and mean thicknesses decreased by 0.6 and 0.86 m respectively. The modal thickness decrease is in good agreement with the thinning of 0.6 m observed by the ice mass-balance buoy at one location on unponded ice during the same period, although the local observations do not capture the different melt rates on level and rough ice. The paper discusses methodological and operational challenges in sustaining both measurements over periods of several months, and concludes that more work needs to be done to better understand their representativeness.

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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