SEA ICE ON McMURDO SOUND, ANTARCTICA: PRELIMINARY THICKNESS.
NAVAL CIVIL ENGINEERING LAB PORT HUENEME CALIF
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The thickness of sea ice in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, and its variations throughout the season and from year to year affects the safety and efficiency of travel and air operations by the U. S. Navy Antarctic Support Activities. The annual sea ice growth stages are 1 youth - the ice sheet is actively growing in thickness and extent 2 maturity - growth ceases, maximum thickness is attained 3 old age - the ice sheet is nearly isothermal and begins to thin rapidly by bottom melting. Growth rate and ultimate thickness varies locally depending mainly upon snow cover and proximity to land or the ice shelf. Bottom melting begins in mid-December and progresses rapidly until breakout. Thinning is differential depending upon location the Cape Armitage sea ice area becomes dangerously thin when most of the sea ice in McMurdo Sound remains thick enough for safe travel. Measurements of thickness, air, ice and water temperature, and snow cover during the entire season are needed for correlation with accumulative degree-days to develop load-carrying curves and to predict thickness. Author
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost