TIAN Zhongxiang, CHENG Bin, ZHAO Jiechen, VIHMA Timo, ZHANG Wenliang, LI Zhijun, ZHANG Zhanhai. Observed and modelled snow and ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean with CHINARE buoy data[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2017, 36(8): 66-75. doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1020-4
Citation: TIAN Zhongxiang, CHENG Bin, ZHAO Jiechen, VIHMA Timo, ZHANG Wenliang, LI Zhijun, ZHANG Zhanhai. Observed and modelled snow and ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean with CHINARE buoy data[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2017, 36(8): 66-75. doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1020-4

Observed and modelled snow and ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean with CHINARE buoy data

doi: 10.1007/s13131-017-1020-4
  • Received Date: 2016-03-02
  • Sea ice and the snow pack on top of it were investigated using Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition (CHINARE) buoy data. Two polar hydrometeorological drifters, known as Zeno® ice stations, were deployed during CHINARE 2003. A new type of high-resolution Snow and Ice Mass Balance Arrays, known as SIMBA buoys, were deployed during CHINARE 2014. Data from those buoys were applied to investigate the thickness of sea ice and snow in the CHINARE domain. A simple approach was applied to estimate the average snow thickness on the basis of Zeno® temperature data. Snow and ice thicknesses were also derived from vertical temperature profile data based on the SIMBA buoys. A one-dimensional snow and ice thermodynamic model (HIGHTSI) was applied to calculate the snow and ice thickness along the buoy drift trajectories. The model forcing was based on forecasts and analyses of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). The Zeno® buoys drifted in a confined area during 2003-2004. The snow thickness modelled applying HIGHTSI was consistent with results based on Zeno® buoy data. The SIMBA buoys drifted from 81.1°N, 157.4°W to 73.5°N, 134.9°W in 15 months during 2014-2015. The total ice thickness increased from an initial August 2014 value of 1.97 m to a maximum value of 2.45 m before the onset of snow melt in May 2015; the last observation was approximately 1 m in late November 2015. The ice thickness based on HIGHTSI agreed with SIMBA measurements, in particular when the seasonal variation of oceanic heat flux was taken into account, but the modelled snow thickness differed from the observed one. Sea ice thickness derived from SIMBA data was reasonably good in cold conditions, but challenges remain in both snow and ice thickness in summer.
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