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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Aug 2020

07 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

New insights into radiative transfer in sea ice derived from autonomous ice internal measurements

Christian Katlein1,2, Lovro Valcic3, Simon Lambert-Girard2, and Mario Hoppmann1 Christian Katlein et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Hemholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Sea Ice Physics, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2Takuvik Joint International Laboratory, Université Laval and CNRS (France), Québec, QC, Canada
  • 3Bruncin Observation Systems, Zagreb, Croatia

Abstract. The radiative transfer of short-wave solar radiation through the sea ice cover of the polar oceans is a crucial aspect of energy partitioning at the atmosphere-ice-ocean interface. A detailed understanding of how sunlight is reflected and transmitted by the sea ice cover is needed for an accurate representation of critical processes in climate and ecosystem models, such as the ice-albedo feedback. Due to the challenges associated with ice internal measurements, most information about radiative transfer in sea ice has been gained by optical measurements above and below the sea ice. To improve our understanding of radiative transfer processes within the ice itself, we developed a new kind of instrument equipped with a number of multispectral light sensors that can be frozen into the ice. A first prototype consisting of a 2.3 m long chain of 48 sideward planar irradiance sensors with a vertical spacing of 0.05 m was deployed at the geographic North Pole in late August 2018, providing autonomous, vertically resolved light measurements within the ice cover during the autumn season. Here we present the first results of this instrument, discuss the advantages and application of the prototype and provide first new insights into the spatiotemporal aspect of radiative transfer within the sea ice itself. In particular, we investigate how measured attenuation coefficients relate to the optical properties of the ice pack, and show that sideward planar irradiance measurements are equivalent to measurements of total scalar irradiance.

Christian Katlein et al.

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Christian Katlein et al.

Christian Katlein et al.


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Latest update: 23 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
To improve autonomous investigations of sea ice optical properties, we designed a chain of multispectral light sensors, providing autonomous in-ice light measurements. Here we describe the system and the data acquired from a first prototype deployment. We show that sideward looking planar irradiance sensors basically measure scalar irradiance and demonstrate the use of this sensor chain to derive light-transmittance and inherent optical properties of sea ice.
To improve autonomous investigations of sea ice optical properties, we designed a chain of...