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The effects of ice floe-floe interactions on pressure ridging in sea ice
  • Anders Damsgaard,
  • Olga V. Sergienko,
  • Alistair Adcroft
Anders Damsgaard
Department of Geophysics, Stanford University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Olga V. Sergienko
AOS, Princeton University/GFDL
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Alistair Adcroft
Princeton University
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The mechanical interaction between ice floes in the polar sea-ice packs plays an important role in the state and predictibility of the ice cover. Using a Lagrangian-based numerical model we investigate the mechanics of sea ice floe-floe interactions. Our simulations show that elastic and reversible deformation offers significant resistance to compression before ice floes yield with brittle failure. When pressure ridges start to form, compressional strength dramatically decreases, implying thicker sea ice is not necessarily stronger compared to thinner ice. These effects are not accounted for in current sea-ice models that describe ice strength by thickness alone. As our results show, the observed transition in mechanical state during ridging initiation may lead to biases in simulated ridge building rates and sea-ice thickness. We propose a parameterization that describes failure mechanics from fracture toughness and Coulomb sliding, improving the representation of ridge building dynamics in particle-based and continuum sea-ice models.
Jul 2021Published in Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems volume 13 issue 7. 10.1029/2020MS002336