Modeling giant-iceberg drift under the influence of sea ice in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica
Abstract:The drift trajectory of giant iceberg C-7 traversing the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, for >2 years was successfully simulated. Application of the "classical" driving forces like wind and ocean currents resulted in a significant discrepancy between modeled and observed iceberg velocities in the western Weddell Sea. The most realistic drift pattern in space and time was achieved by adding a sea-ice force which represents the ability of a dense sea-ice cover (≥90%) to lock in icebergs and collect the momentum of the wind over an area much larger than the area of the iceberg proper. This process was parameterized using a sea-ice strength P which depends on sea-ice concentration and thickness, both having highest values in winter and in the western Weddell Sea which is covered with multi-year sea ice. As a consequence of the sensitivity to sea ice, the timing of the iceberg drift becomes important, revealing the region off Brunt Ice Shelf (eastern Weddell Sea) as a location where bergs either continue westward with the coastal current or follow a southern branch onto the shallow continental shelf.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2001
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