Atmospheric drivers of a winter-to-spring Lagrangian sea-ice drift in the Eastern Antarctic marginal ice zone

Womack, Ashleigh, Vichi, Marcello, Alberello, Alberto ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7957-4012 and Toffoli, Alessandro (2022) Atmospheric drivers of a winter-to-spring Lagrangian sea-ice drift in the Eastern Antarctic marginal ice zone. Journal of Glaciology, 68 (271). pp. 999-1013. ISSN 0022-1430

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Abstract

Sea-ice drift in the Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ) is discussed using data from a 4-month-long drift of a buoy deployed on a pancake ice floe during the winter sea-ice expansion. We demonstrate increased meandering and drift speeds, and changes in the dynamical regimes of the absolute dispersion during cyclone activity, together with high correlations between drift velocities and wind from atmospheric reanalyses. This indicates a dominant physical control of wind forcing on ice drift and the persistence of free-drift conditions. These conditions occurred despite the buoy remaining largely in >80% ice concentrations and at distances >200 km from the estimated ice edge. The drift is additionally characterised by a strong inertial signature at 13.47 h, which appears initiated by passing cyclones. A wavelet analysis of the buoy's velocity confirms that the momentum transfer from winds at the multi-day frequencies is due to atmospheric forcing, while the initiation of inertial oscillations of sea ice has been identified as the secondary effect. Propagating storm-generated waves may initiate inertial oscillations by increasing the mobility of floes and enhance the drag of the inertial current. This analysis indicates that the Antarctic MIZ in the Indian Ocean sector remains much wider and mobile, during austral winter-to-spring, than defined by sea-ice concentration.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Supplementary material: The supplementary material for this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1017/jog.2022.14. Author acknowledgements: The expedition was funded by the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) through the National Research Foundation (NRF). We thank the captain and the crew of the SA Agulhas II for assistance during the deployment. A.A. and A.T. were funded by the ACE Foundation and Ferring Pharmaceuticals and the Australian Antarctic Science Program (project 4434). A.A. acknowledges support from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (PE19055). A.T. acknowledges support from the Australia Research Council (DP200102828). We thank A. Babanin and Keith MacHutchon for facilitating the purchase and delivery of the Trident Sensors Helix Beacon through the DISI Australia–China Centre Grant ACSRF48199. A.W. thanks J. Rogerson for support with the data processing. We thank L. Fascette for technical support during the cruise.
Uncontrolled Keywords: antarctic glaciology,ocean interactions,sea ice,sea-ice dynamics,earth-surface processes ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1904
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Mathematics
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Fluid and Solid Mechanics
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 06 May 2022 03:59
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 18:31
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/84911
DOI: 10.1017/jog.2022.14

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