Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
The Cryosphere, 6, 1187-1201, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Oct 2012
Sea ice inertial oscillations in the Arctic Basin
F. Gimbert1,3, D. Marsan2, J. Weiss3, N. C. Jourdain4, and B. Barnier4 1ISTerre, Université de Grenoble 1, CNRS, UMR5275, 38041 Grenoble, France
2ISTerre, Université de Savoie, CNRS, 73376 Le Bourget-du-Lac, France
3LGGE, Université de Grenoble 1, CNRS, 38041 Grenoble, France
4LEGI, Université de Grenoble 1, CNRS, 38041 Grenoble, France
Abstract. An original method to quantify the amplitude of inertial motion of oceanic and ice drifters, through the introduction of a non-dimensional parameter M defined from a spectral analysis, is presented. A strong seasonal dependence of the magnitude of sea ice inertial oscillations is revealed, in agreement with the corresponding annual cycles of sea ice extent, concentration, thickness, advection velocity, and deformation rates. The spatial pattern of the magnitude of the sea ice inertial oscillations over the Arctic Basin is also in agreement with the sea ice thickness and concentration patterns. This argues for a strong interaction between the magnitude of inertial motion on one hand, the dissipation of energy through mechanical processes, and the cohesiveness of the cover on the other hand. Finally, a significant multi-annual evolution towards greater magnitudes of inertial oscillations in recent years, in both summer and winter, is reported, thus concomitant with reduced sea ice thickness, concentration and spatial extent.

Citation: Gimbert, F., Marsan, D., Weiss, J., Jourdain, N. C., and Barnier, B.: Sea ice inertial oscillations in the Arctic Basin, The Cryosphere, 6, 1187-1201,, 2012.
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