Summaries - Research
Back Coupling of Waves, Turbulence and Thermodynamics Across the Marginal Ice Zone
|Division||Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science|
|Investigator(s)||Stanton, Timothy P.|
|Sponsor||Office of Naval Research (Navy)|
1. Understand coupling of surface-wave-driven mechanical forcing and solar-radiation-driven thermodynamic forcing in the marginal ice zone.
Within the MIZ, the ocean-ice-albedo feedback mechanism is coupled to the ice deformation and fracturing that results from the presence of surface wave orbital motions and non-linear sub-harmonics resulting from interaction with the MIZ. We are interested in exploring, over the course of a summer heating season, the relationships between wave action, open water fraction, ocean warming, and ice melt rates in the MIZ. Is wave-action a crucial component of the positive feedback mechanism in the MIZ?
2. Identify forcing mechanisms and quantify vertical mixing rates at the base of the ocean surface layer across the marginal ice zone.
It is expected that mixing rates in open water areas of the Arctic are larger than in ice-covered areas due to presence of surface waves and the direct transmission wind stress to the upper ocean. Do enhanced vertical mixing rates at the base of the mixed layer in the open ocean and the MIZ make significant contributions to basal ice melting and the retreat of the sea ice cover? This enhanced entrainment heat flux will depend strongly on the underlying pycnocline salinity structure and heat content. Localized upwelling at the ice edge may bring relatively warm, upper pycnocline waters close to the surface and more accessible to surface-driven entrainment
3. Map penetrating solar radiation, ocean heat storage and vertical ocean heat fluxes across the marginal ice zone
What is the variability of irradiance, heat content and vertical heat fluxes across the MIZ? As the ice cover diminishes and retreats, the mixed layer freshens with ice melt water and warms from summer solar insolation. Melting will accelerate if there are significant lateral exchanges across the MIZ. How significant are non-local heating processes across the MIZ? How much heat is trapped below the ocean mixed layer as the MIZ/ice edge evolves during the melt season?
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