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Winter Arctic Sea Ice Surface Form Drag During 1999-2021: Satellite Retrieval and Spatiotemporal Variability
  • +4
  • Zhilun Zhang,
  • Fengming Hui,
  • Mohammed Shokr,
  • Mats A. Granskog,
  • Bin Cheng,
  • Timo Vihma,
  • Xiao Cheng
Zhilun Zhang
Fengming Hui
Mohammed Shokr
Mats A. Granskog

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Bin Cheng
Timo Vihma
Xiao Cheng

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The neutral form drag coefficient is an important parameter when estimating surface turbulent fluxes over Arctic sea ice. The form drag caused by surface features (𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓) dominates the total drag in the winter, but long-term pan-Arctic records of 𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓 are still lacking for Arctic sea ice. In this study, we first developed an improved surface feature detection algorithm and characterized the surface features (including height and spacing) over Arctic sea ice during the late winter of 2009-2019 using the full-scan laser altimeter data obtained in the Operation IceBridge mission. 𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓 was then estimated using an existing parameterization scheme. This was followed by applying a satellite-derived backscatter coefficient (𝝈𝒐𝒗𝒗 ) to 𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓 regression model to extrapolate, for the first time, 𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓 to the pan-Arctic scale for the entire winter season over two decades (from 1999 to 2021). We found that the surface features have a larger height and smaller spacing over multi-year ice (1.15 ± 0.21 m and 142 ± 49 m) than over first-year ice (0.90 ± 0.16 m and 241 ± 129 m). The monthly mean 𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓 increases through the winter, from 0.2 × 10 −3 in November to 0.4-0.5 × 10 −3 in April. The central Arctic has the largest 𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓 (up to 2 × 10 −3), but experienced a drop of ~50% in the period from 2001/2002 to 2008/2009. The interannual fluctuations in 𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓 are strongly linked to the variability of sea ice thickness and deformation, and the latter has become increasingly important for 𝑪𝒅𝒏,𝒇𝒓 since 2009.
03 Jan 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
10 Jan 2024Published in TechRxiv