Temporal and Spatial Distributions of Arctic Sea Ice Thickness and Pressure Ridging Statistics.
Final rept. Dec 83-Mar 85,
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Data from the unclassified literature were reviewed to determine the regional and seasonal distributions of sea ice thickness, pressure ridging statistics, frequency of occurrence of polynyas, and keelsail height ratios. Seasonal and regional maps and histograms of these properties were constructed. The majority of the data were obtained from submarines equipped with a narrow-beam, upward-looking sonar. As determined from an analysis of 17 submarine cruises, the overall mean thickness of Arctic sea ice above 65 deg N, including both deformed and undeformed ice, is 2.9 m with a standard deviation of 1.8 m. The overall seasonal mean ranges from approximately 2.4 m in spring to 3.3 m in summer. Local mean ice thicknesses ranged from less than 1 m near the marginal ice zone to greater than 7 m to the north of the Canadian Archipelago. Histograms of sea ice thickness reflect a bimodal distribution in winter and spring, an effect of the presence of thin first year ice. Due to ice melt in summer and autumn only a single mode of much thicker multi-year ice is observed.
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost