Abstract

We present numerical results arising from a parameterization of wave-iceinteractions in a two-dimensional ice-ocean model of the Fram Strait (HYCOM:HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model). The model takes wave predictions/hindcasts fromthe WAM wave model and these waves are advected into the ice, breaking it asthey go. They in turn are attenuated by the ice using the model of Bennetts andSquire (2012). We use a truncated power law for the floe size distribution, following the observations of Toyota et al. (2011). The maximum floe size isdetermined by the dominant wavelength in the ice field. The maximum valueincreases with distance from the ice edge as shorter waves are attenuated morestrongly than long ones. At some distance from the ice edge, breaking is nolonger able to occur, and this marks the end of the Marginal Ice Zone(MIZ).

Consequently, we now have a model that predicts the expected floe size andwave intensity at any point in the ice, something that current wave models areunable to do at present, and which is a notable weakness. Recognizing that acombination of large waves and ice can be extremely hazardous, Arctic operatorswho need to know both wave and ice conditions in ice-infested areas will usethe model as a forecasting tool when it is fully operational.

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