Journal article

An Autonomous Approach to Observing the Seasonal Ice Zone in the Western Arctic

Craig M Lee, Jim Thomson



The Marginal Ice Zone and Arctic Sea State programs examined the processes that govern evolution of the rapidly changing seasonal ice zone in the Beaufort Sea. Autonomous platforms operating from the ice and within the water column collected measurements across the atmosphere-ice-ocean system and provided the persistence to sample continuously through the springtime retreat and autumn advance of sea ice. Autonomous platforms also allowed operational modalities that reduced the field programs’ logistical requirements. Observations indicate that thermodynamics, especially the radiative balances of the ice-albedo feedback, govern the seasonal cycle of sea ice, with the role of surface waves con..

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Awarded by Office of Naval Research

Funding Acknowledgements

The results presented here are the product of the dedication and hard work of the Marginal Ice Zone and Sea State Science teams. We thank the Office of Naval Research Arctic and Global Prediction Program, and program managers Martin Jeffries and Scott Harper, for their continued support of both Arctic research and the development of new technologies and approaches for collecting the necessary observations. The Korean Polar Research Institute has been an exceptional, and generous, scientific collaborator-we thank Sung-Ho Kang and the Captain and crew of IBRV Araon. We also thank the US National Ice Center for their timely and sustained support through both projects, and the Captains and crews of R/Vs Ukpik, Norseman II, and Sikuliaq. The Office of Naval Research supported preparation of this paper under grant N00014-12-1-0180 (Lee) and N00014-13-10284 (Thomson).