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Title: The salinity distribution in young sea ice
Authors: Arctic Institute of North America.
United States. Hydrographic Office.
Air Force Cambridge Research Center (U.S.). Geophysics Research Directorate.
Weeks, W. F.
Lee, Owen S.
Keywords: Sea ice
Salt content
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Research report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 98.
Description: Research Report
Summary: Two areas of a young sea ice sheet were studied at Thule, Greenland: the first apparently homogeneous sheet ice, the second heterogeneous pancake ice. The growth and salinity histories of these ices are known. Salinity samples from each area were collected from 3 layers of 7 nested grids which varied geometrically from 2 to 128 ft on a side. All but one of the salinity distributions were positively skewed. Analysis-of-variance techniques show a highly significant vertical variation in the salinity of both sheet and pancake ice. This is the result of a general decrease in salinity with decreasing growth rate and of transfer processes that produce brine migration. A small but measurable decrease in the salinity of the sheet ice during the sampling period produced a significant between-grid variance in all layers. The pancake ice showed no significant between-grid variance because of a large within-grid variance and a much lower rate of brine drainage. Only in the upper layer of pancake ice is there a significant increase in the variance of the time groups with an increase in the sampled area: as the size of the sampled area increases, the samples are collected from pancakes of widely varying histories. A study of the degree of correlation between salinities as a function of sample spacing shows that there is no reason to doubt that the effects causing the lateral variation in salinity are random. It is suggested that a considerable portion of the scatter observed in the physical properties of sea ice is produced by the inherent uncertainty in precisely determining the effective salinity of the test specimen.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Research Report

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