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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-134
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-134
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  14 May 2020

14 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal TC and is expected to appear here in due course.

Toward a method for downscaling sea ice pressure

Jean-Francois Lemieux1, Bruno Tremblay2, and Mathieu Plante2 Jean-Francois Lemieux et al.
  • 1Recherche en Prévision Numérique Environnementale/Environnement et Changement Climatique Canada, 2121 route Transcanadienne, Dorval, Qc, Canada
  • 2Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montréal, Qc, Canada

Abstract. Sea ice pressure poses great risk for navigation; it can lead to ship besetting and damages. Contemporary large-scale sea ice forecasting systems can predict the evolution of sea ice pressure. There is, however, a mismatch between the spatial resolution of these systems (a few km) and the typical dimensions of ships (a few tens of m) navigating in ice-covered regions. In this paper, we investigate the downscaling of sea ice pressure from the km-scale to scales relevant for ships. Results show that sub-grid scale pressure values can be significantly larger than the large-scale pressure (up to $\sim$ 4x larger in our numerical experiments). High pressure at the sub-grid scale is associated with the presence of defects (e.g. a lead). Numerical experiments show that a ship creates its own high stress concentration by forming a lead in its wake while navigating. These results also highlight the difficulty of forecasting the small-scale distribution of pressure and especially the largest values. Indeed, this distribution strongly depends on variables that are not well constrained: the rheology parameters and the small-scale structure of sea ice thickness (more importantly the length of the lead behind the ship).

Jean-Francois Lemieux et al.

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Jean-Francois Lemieux et al.

Model code and software

Stress boundary conditions for the McGill sea ice model J.-F. Lemieux, B. Tremblay, and M. Plante https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3803452

Jean-Francois Lemieux et al.

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Short summary
Sea ice pressure poses great risk for navigation; it can lead to ship besetting and damages. Forecasting systems can predict the evolution of pressure. However, these systems have spatial resolutions of a few km while a typical ship has dimensions of a few tens of m. A method is proposed to estimate the pressure in the vicinity of a ship based on the pressure predicted by the forecasting system. Results show notably larger values of pressure around the ship than the system pressure forecast.
Sea ice pressure poses great risk for navigation; it can lead to ship besetting and damages....
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