Deformation of the Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Cover between November 1996 and April 1997: A Qualitative Survey

  • Ronald Kwok
Part of the Solid Mechanics and Its Applications book series (SMIA, volume 94)


Quasi-linear features of the scale of kilometers to hundreds of kilometers can be observed in the high-resolution deformation fields of the sea ice cover produced by the RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System. They appear as sharp discontinuities separating regions of uniform ice motion. These features are expressions of one of three kinematic processes: openings, closings, or shear. Here, we refer to them as linear kinematic features (LKFs). Open water is created during an opening event and ridges are formed during a closing event. Shear, however, does not always result in convergence or divergence that modify the sea ice thickness distribution. These large-scale patterns of LKFs, seem to be persistent with a time scale approaching a month suggesting anisotropic material behavior. The character of the ice cover deformation is sampled by RGPS grid cells with dimensions of approximately 10 km on a side. In this paper, we provide a qualitative survey of the development of these features over a six-month period between November 1996 and April 1997 and discuss their implications on the modeling of sea ice dynamics.


Arctic Ocean Slip Line Advance Very High Resolution Radiometer Qualitative Survey Western Arctic Ocean 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Kwok
    • 1
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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