Physical properties, spectral reflectance and thickness development of first year fast ice in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard
AbstractA ground truth study was performed on first year fast ice in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, during spring 1997 and 1998. The survey included sea ice thickness monitoring as well as observation of surface albedo, attenuation of optical radiation in the ice, physical properties and texture of snow and sea ice. The average total sea ice thickness in May was about 0.9 m, including a 0.2 m thick snow layer on top. Within a few weeks in both years, the snow melted almost completely, whereas the ice thickness decreased by not more than 0.05 m. During spring, the lower part of the snow refroze into a solid layer. The sea ice became more porous. Temperatures in the sea ice increased and the measurable salinity of the sea ice decreased with time. Due to snow cover thinning and snow grain growth, maximum surface albedo decreased from 0.96 to 0.74. Texture analysis on cores showed columnar ice with large crystals (max. crystal lenght > 0.1 m) below a 0.11 m thick mixed surface layer of granular ice with smaller crystals. In both years, we observed sea ice algae at the bottom part of the ice. This layer has a significant effect on the radiation transmissivity.
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