Sea ice export through the Fram Strait derived from a combined model and satellite data set

Min, Chao; Mu, Longjiang; Yang, Qinghua; Ricker, Robert; Shi, Qian; Han, Bo; Wu, Renhao; Liu, Jiping

Sea ice volume export through the Fram Strait plays an important role in the Arctic freshwater and energy redistribution. The combined model and satellite sea ice thickness (CMST) data set assimilates CryoSat-2 and soil moisture and ocean salinity (SMOS) thickness products together with satellite sea ice concentration. The CMST data set closes the gap of stand-alone satellite-derived sea ice thickness in summer and therefore allows us to estimate sea ice volume export during the melt season. In this study, we first validate the CMST data set using field observations, and then we estimate the continuous seasonal and interannual variations in Arctic sea ice volume flux through the Fram Strait from September 2010 to December 2016. The results show that seasonal and interannual sea ice volume export vary from about -240(±40) to -970(±60) km3 and -1970(±290) to -2490(±280) km3, respectively. The sea ice volume export reaches its maximum in spring and about one-third of the yearly total volume export occurs in the melt season. The minimum monthly sea ice export is −11 km3 in August 2015, and the maximum (−442 km3) appears in March 2011. The seasonal relative frequencies of sea ice thickness and drift suggest that the Fram Strait outlet in summer is dominated by sea ice that is thicker than 2 m with relatively slow seasonal mean drift of about 3 km d−1.

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Min, Chao / Mu, Longjiang / Yang, Qinghua / et al: Sea ice export through the Fram Strait derived from a combined model and satellite data set. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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