Waves and Fetch in the Marginal Ice Zone

Monday, 15 December 2014: 1:40 PM
James M Thomson1, William Rogers2, Seth Zippel3, Madison Smith3 and Johannes Gemmrich4, (1)Applied Physics Lab (UW), Seattle, WA, United States, (2)Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, MS, United States, (3)University of Washington APL, Seattle, WA, United States, (4)University of Victoria, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Surface waves are emerging as a central feature of the new Arctic Ocean. We present a combination of in situ measurements, numerical models, and remote sensing products to understand the role of waves in the Arctic Ocean. We examine the large-scale effects of the recently expanded open water fetch distances during the summer months, as well as the local effects of waves interacting with ice. In the marginal ice zone (MIZ), the ice filters incident waves and also suppresses the generation of new waves. The surface stresses are partitioned between the ice and the waves, such that whitecaps and turbulence are reduced in the MIZ. This alters the wave-mediated fluxes of heat and momentum between the ocean and the atmosphere. As the MIZ evolves, the system shifts from an ice-dominated regime to a wave-dominated regime.