Articles | Volume 11, issue 5
The Cryosphere, 11, 2137–2148, 2017
The Cryosphere, 11, 2137–2148, 2017

Research article 08 Sep 2017

Research article | 08 Sep 2017

Modelling radiative transfer through ponded first-year Arctic sea ice with a plane-parallel model

Torbjørn Taskjelle1, Stephen R. Hudson2, Mats A. Granskog2, and Børge Hamre1 Torbjørn Taskjelle et al.
  • 1Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Allégaten 55, Bergen, Norway
  • 2Norwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, Norway

Abstract. Under-ice irradiance measurements were done on ponded first-year pack ice along three transects during the ICE12 expedition north of Svalbard. Bulk transmittances (400–900 nm) were found to be on average 0.15–0.20 under bare ice, and 0.39–0.46 under ponded ice. Radiative transfer modelling was done with a plane-parallel model. While simulated transmittances deviate significantly from measured transmittances close to the edge of ponds, spatially averaged bulk transmittances agree well. That is, transect-average bulk transmittances, calculated using typical simulated transmittances for ponded and bare ice weighted by the fractional coverage of the two surface types, are in good agreement with the measured values. Radiative heating rates calculated from model output indicates that about 20 % of the incident solar energy is absorbed in bare ice, and 50 % in ponded ice (35 % in pond itself, 15 % in the underlying ice). This large difference is due to the highly scattering surface scattering layer (SSL) increasing the albedo of the bare ice.