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A comparison between polynya area and associated ice production with mooring-based measurements of temperature, salinity and currents in the southwestern Ross Sea, Antarctica

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Abstract:

Wintertime (April–September) area estimates of the Terra Nova Bay polynya (TNBP), Antarctica, based on satellite microwave radiometry are compared with in situ observations of water salinity, temperature and currents at a mooring in Terra Nova Bay in 1996 and 1997. In 1996, polynya area anomalies and associated anomalies in polynya ice production are significantly correlated with salinity anomalies at the mooring. Salinity anomalies lag area and/or ice production anomalies by about 3 days. Up to 50% of the variability in the salinity at the mooring position can be explained by area and/or ice production anomalies in the TNBP for April–September 1996. This value increases to about 70% when considering shorter periods like April–June or May–July, but reduces to 30% later, for example July–September, together with a slight increase in time lag. In 1997, correlations are smaller, less significant and occur at a different time lag. Analysis of ocean currents at the mooring suggests that in 1996 conditions were more favourable than in 1997 for observing the impact of descending plumes of saltenriched water formed in the polynya during ice formation on the water masses at the mooring depth.

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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