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Title: Jet formation at the sea ice edge
Author: Heorton, H. D. B.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Mesoscale jet formation due to the Coriolis Effect is well understood over sharp changes in surface roughness such as coastlines. This sharp change in surface roughness is experienced by the atmosphere flowing over, and ocean flowing under, a compacted sea ice edge. Sea ice edge jets have been observed. This thesis presents a study of a dynamic sea ice edge responding to atmospheric and oceanic jet formation during various wind and ocean current conditions. An idealised analytical model of sea ice drift is created using a momentum balance and the viscous plastic rheology. This is compared to an ice edge in the Los Alamos sea ice climate model (CICE) run on an idealised domain. A scheme has been developed which analyses sea ice concentration and adds jets to the CICE model forcing data. The response of the model to jet formation is tested at various resolutions. The formation of atmospheric jets at the sea ice edge is shown to increase the wind speed parallel to the sea ice edge and results in the formation of a sea ice edge jet. The increase is dependent upon the angle between the ice and wind and results in an increase in ice transport along the sea ice edge of 40%. Observa- tions and climate model data of the polar oceans has been analysed to show areas of likely atmospheric jet formation with the Fram Strait being of particular interest. The possibility of oceanic jet formation and the resultant effect upon the sea ice edge is less conclusive. The coupling between the components of climate models is currently crude and does not allow for jet formation. Most climate model also misrepresent the ice drift through the Fram Strait leading to errors in the prediction of Arctic sea ice extent.
Supervisor: Feltham, D. L. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available