Airborne remote sensing of ocean wave directional wavenumber spectra in the marginal ice zone

Type Article
Date 2016-05
Language English
Author(s) Sutherland Peter1, Gascard Jean-Claude2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Inst Francais Rech Exploitat Mer, Lab Oceanog Phys & Spatiale, Plouzane, France.
2 : Univ Paris 06, Lab Oceanog & Climat, Paris, France.
Source Geophysical Research Letters (0094-8276) (Amer Geophysical Union), 2016-05 , Vol. 43 , N. 10 , P. 5151-5159
DOI 10.1002/2016GL067713
WOS© Times Cited 10
Abstract Interactions between surface waves and sea ice are thought to be an important, but poorly understood, physical process in the atmosphere-ice-ocean system. In this work, airborne scanning lidar was used to observe ocean waves propagating into the marginal ice zone (MIZ). These represent the first direct spatial measurements of the surface wave field in the polar MIZ. Data were compared against two attenuation models, one based on viscous dissipation and one based on scattering. Both models were capable of reproducing the measured wave energy. The observed wavenumber dependence of attenuation was found to be consistent with viscous processes, while the spectral spreading of higher wavenumbers suggested a scattering mechanism. Both models reproduced a change in peak direction due to preferential directional filtering. Floe sizes were recorded using co-located visible imagery, and their distribution was found to be consistent with ice breakup by the wave field.
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