N-ICE2015: Sea ice

Core observations will be regular mapping of the snow and ice cover thickness and physical properties at the study site. Both temporal and spatial aspects will be investigated.

This will also provide a direct calibration of the observations of the components of the energy balance in WP1 and WP2, and provide ground truth for satellite observations. Numerous autonomous ice mass balance buoys will be deployed and are used to follow the dynamics (see WP4), growth and melt of the sea ice and changes in snow thickness in the area surrounding the ship, up tens of kilometers from the ship. This will aid in getting a more representative picture of the conditions in the ice pack.

The in situ observations (on centimeter to kilometer scale) will be conducted using electromagnetic devices (ice and snow thickness), manual probes (snow thickness) and conventional drilling (ice and snow thickness) to assess the spatial and temporal evolution of the snow and ice. A laser will also be used to examine the surface topography and snow depth. Sampling of snow and ice will be done to examine the physical properties and changes throughout the campaign, this includes snow stratigraphy, density, grain size, wetness, salinity, and ice temperature, salinity, texture and chemistry (see also WP5).

The observations will be used to develop and validate process models on sea ice and snow thermodynamics (1D) and snow distribution and drift models (3D), and lead to substantial improvements of snow parameterizations of the new Arctic young ice regime.