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TitleFormation and struture of refrozen cracks in land-fast first-year sea ice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsPetrich, C., Langhorne P.J., and Haskell T.G.
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Date Published2007
ISSN21699291 (ISSN)
KeywordsAntarctica, Calluna vulgaris, Computational fluid dynamics, crack, Cracks, Crystals, East Antarctica, Finite volume method, Freezing, heat flow, Heat transfer, ice sheet, Isotherms, MATHEMATICAL MODELS, McMurdo Sound, numerical model, Ross Sea, Sea ice, Southern Ocean
AbstractThis study characterizes the healing process and structure of undeformed, linear, parallel-sided, flooded cracks in land-fast sea ice. Field investigations and refreezing experiments were performed in McMurdo Sound, Ross Sea, Antarctica, between 1998 and 2002. Data from a two-dimensional thermistor array are used to show that the ice-water interface of freezing cracks is arch-shaped due to bidirectional heat flow to the surrounding ice cover and to the atmosphere. Ice growing laterally into the crack is found to desalinate over a prolonged period of time, until the isotherms are approximately horizontal. Superposition of heat flow to the atmosphere and to the host sea ice sheet allows the refreezing progress to be modeled analytically. Close to the ice-air interface, the salinity is higher at the sides of wide refrozen cracks than it is at the center. However, deeper down and in narrower cracks in general, the salinity is higher at the center than at the sides. A finite volume, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model reproduces the generally arch-shaped alignment of brine pockets. This pattern is attributed to convection in the mushy layer. Crystals are found to grow upstream into the crack due to a salinity gradient in the buoyant convective flow. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

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