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Thermodynamic investigation of an evolving grease to pancake ice field

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We present results from a laboratory tank study of ice growing from saline water in a wave field, focusing on the transition from a predominantly frazil/grease-ice cover to a pancake-ice cover. Combining surface temperature observations with direct and indirect determinations of ice salinity and solid fraction, we describe the evolution of frazil- and pancake-ice area fraction, salinity and solid-ice volume fraction over the course of 1 day. In the investigated stage of transition, frazil ice surrounding the pancakes was found to have rather constant properties: a surface temperature 0.4–0.6 K below the freezing point of the underlying sea water, a salinity of 24–26 g kg–1 and a solid volume fraction of 0.25–0.29. The average salinity of young pancake ice, estimated from heat and salt budgets, decreased from 18 to 15 g kg–1, while average solid volume fractions increased from 0.6 to 0.7. The transition from frazil to pancake is estimated to take place when solid fractions reach 0.37–0.40 and surface temperatures are 0.7–0.9 K below the freezing point. We find that, for proper modelling of the grease–pancake system, it is important to distinguish between a surface and volumetric fraction of pancakes and grease ice.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-05-01

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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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