Temporal and spatial distributions of Arctic sea ice thickness and pressure ridging statistics
Garrett, Robert P.
Bourke, Robert H.
Niebauer, Henry J.
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Data form 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 keel/sail 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˚N, including both deformed and underformed 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.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
NPS Report NumberNPS 68-85-009
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