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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 4 | Copyright
The Cryosphere, 12, 1233-1247, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Apr 2018

Research article | 10 Apr 2018

Thermodynamic and dynamic ice thickness contributions in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in NEMO-LIM2 numerical simulations

Xianmin Hu1,a, Jingfan Sun1,b, Ting On Chan1,c, and Paul G. Myers1 Xianmin Hu et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, T6G 2E3, Canada
  • anow at: Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • bnow at: School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • cnow at: Skytech Solutions Ltd., Canada

Abstract. Sea ice thickness evolution within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) is of great interest to science, as well as local communities and their economy. In this study, based on the NEMO numerical framework including the LIM2 sea ice module, simulations at both 1∕4 and 1∕12° horizontal resolution were conducted from 2002 to 2016. The model captures well the general spatial distribution of ice thickness in the CAA region, with very thick sea ice (∼ 4m and thicker) in the northern CAA, thick sea ice (2.5 to 3m) in the west-central Parry Channel and M'Clintock Channel, and thin ( < 2m) ice (in winter months) on the east side of CAA (e.g., eastern Parry Channel, Baffin Island coast) and in the channels in southern areas. Even though the configurations still have resolution limitations in resolving the exact observation sites, simulated ice thickness compares reasonably (seasonal cycle and amplitudes) with weekly Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) New Ice Thickness Program data at first-year landfast ice sites except at the northern sites with high concentration of old ice. At 1∕4 to 1∕12° scale, model resolution does not play a significant role in the sea ice simulation except to improve local dynamics because of better coastline representation. Sea ice growth is decomposed into thermodynamic and dynamic (including all non-thermodynamic processes in the model) contributions to study the ice thickness evolution. Relatively smaller thermodynamic contribution to ice growth between December and the following April is found in the thick and very thick ice regions, with larger contributions in the thin ice-covered region. No significant trend in winter maximum ice volume is found in the northern CAA and Baffin Bay while a decline (r2  ≈  0.6, p  <  0.01) is simulated in Parry Channel region. The two main contributors (thermodynamic growth and lateral transport) have high interannual variabilities which largely balance each other, so that maximum ice volume can vary interannually by ±12% in the northern CAA, ±15% in Parry Channel, and ±9% in Baffin Bay. Further quantitative evaluation is required.

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Short summary
We evaluated the sea ice thickness simulation in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago region using 1/4 and 1/12 degree NEMO LIM2 configurations. Model resolution dose not play a significant role. Relatively smaller thermodynamic contribution in the winter season is found in the thick ice covered areas, with larger contributions in the thin ice covered regions. No significant trend in winter maximum ice volume is found in the northern CAA and Baffin Bay but a decline is simulated within Parry Channel.
We evaluated the sea ice thickness simulation in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago region using...