Physical Properties of Sea Ice Discharged from Fram Strait

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Science  24 Apr 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4800, pp. 436-439
DOI: 10.1126/science.236.4800.436


It is estimated that 84 percent of the ice exiting the Arctic Basin through Fram Strait during June and July 1984 was multiyear ice and that a large percentage of this ice is ridged or otherwise deformed. While freeboard and thickness data, together with salinity measurements on cores, usually sufficed to distinguish between first and multiyear floes, preliminary identification could usually be made on the basis of snow cover measurements with snow cover being much thicker on multiyear ice. Cores from the top half meter of multiyear floes were generally very much harder and more transparent than cores from first-year floes. Age estimates of multiyear floes, based on petrographic and salinity characteristics of cores, did not exceed 4 to 5 years for any of the floes that were observed exiting Fram Strait.