Snow contribution to first-year and second-year Arctic sea ice mass balance north of Svalbard

Granskog, Mats A.; Rösel, Anja; Dodd, Paul A.; Divine, Dmitry; Gerland, Sebastian; Martma, Tõnu; Leng, Melanie J. ORCID: 2017 Snow contribution to first-year and second-year Arctic sea ice mass balance north of Svalbard. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 122 (3). 2539-2549.

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The salinity and water oxygen isotope composition (δ18O) of 29 first-year (FYI) and second-year (SYI) Arctic sea ice cores (total length 32.0 m) from the drifting ice pack north of Svalbard were examined to quantify the contribution of snow to sea ice mass. Five cores (total length 6.4 m) were analyzed for their structural composition, showing variable contribution of 10–30% by granular ice. In these cores, snow had been entrained in 6–28% of the total ice thickness. We found evidence of snow contribution in about three quarters of the sea ice cores, when surface granular layers had very low δ18O values. Snow contributed 7.5–9.7% to sea ice mass balance on average (including also cores with no snow) based on δ18O mass balance calculations. In SYI cores, snow fraction by mass (12.7–16.3%) was much higher than in FYI cores (3.3–4.4%), while the bulk salinity of FYI (4.9) was distinctively higher than for SYI (2.7). We conclude that oxygen isotopes and salinity profiles can give information on the age of the ice and enables distinction between FYI and SYI (or older) ice in the area north of Svalbard.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 21699275
Date made live: 09 Aug 2017 14:34 +0 (UTC)

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