Contrasts in Sea Ice Formation and Production in the Arctic Seasonal and Perennial Ice ZonesFour years (1997-2000) of RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS) data are used to contrast the sea ice deformation and production regionally, and in the seasonal (SIZ) and perennial (PIZ) ice zones. Ice production is of seasonal ice in openings during the winter. 3-day estimates of these quantities are provided within Lagrangian elements initially 10 km on a side. A distinct seasonal cycle is seen in both zones with these estimates highest in the late fall and with seasonal minimums in the mid-winter. Regional divergence over the winter could be up to 30%. Spatially, the highest deformation is in the SIZ north of coastal Alaska. Both ice deformation and production are higher in the SIZ: deformation-related ice production in the SIZ (approx.0.5 m) is 1.5-2.3 times that of the PIZ (approx.0.3 m) - this is connected to ice strength and thickness. Atmospheric forcing and boundary layer structure contribute to only the seasonal and interannual variability. Seasonal ice growth in ice fractures accounts for approx.25-40% of the total ice production of the Arctic Ocean. By itself, this deformation-ice production relationship could be considered a negative feedback when thickness is perturbed. However, the overall effect on ice production in the face of increasing seasonal and thinner/weaker ice coverage could be modified by: local destabilization of the water column promoting overturning of warmer water due to increased brine rejection; and, the upwelling of the pynocline associated with increased occurrence of large shear motion in sea ice.
Kwok, R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)