Journal article

Brief communication: Pancake ice floe size distribution during the winter expansion of the Antarctic marginal ice zone

Alberto Alberello, Miguel Onorato, Luke Bennetts, Marcello Vichi, Clare Eayrs, Keith MacHutchon, Alessandro Toffoli

Copernicus GmbH

Abstract

<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> The size distribution of pancake ice floes is calculated from images acquired during a voyage to the Antarctic marginal ice zone in the winter expansion season. Results show that 50 % of the sea ice area is made up by floes with diameters 2.3–4 m. The floe size distribution shows two distinct slopes on either side of the 2.3–4 m range. It is conjectured that growth of pancakes from frazil forms the distribution of small floes (<i>D</i> < 2.3 m), and welding of pancakes forms the distribution of large floes (<i>D</i> >&#820..

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