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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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It has been suggested that the observed sudden breakup of Arctic and Antarctic floating ice covers may be due to fatigue failure associated with cyclic loading from ocean swells that can penetrate deeply into an ice pack. To investigate this possibility, we measured the flexural strength of saline ice after cyclic loading. Contrary to expectations, we find that the flexural strength of saline ice increases upon cycling, similar to the behavior of laboratory-grown ice and natural lake ice.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-300
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-300

  01 Dec 2020

01 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Behavior of Saline Ice under Cyclic Flexural Loading

Andrii Murdza1, Erland M. Schulson1, and Carl E. Renshaw1,2 Andrii Murdza et al.
  • 1Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA, 03755
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA, 03755

Abstract. New systematic experiments reveal that the flexural strength of saline S2 columnar-grained ice loaded normal to the columns can be increased upon cyclic loading by about a factor of 1.5. The experiments were conducted using reversed cyclic loading over ranges of frequencies from 0.1 to 0.6 Hz and at a temperature of −10 ºC on saline ice of two salinities: 3.0±0.9 and 5.9±0.6 ‰. Acoustic emission hit rate during cycling increases with an increase of stress amplitude of cycling. Flexural strength of saline ice of 3.0±0.9 ‰ salinity appears to increase linearly with increasing stress amplitude, similar to the behavior of laboratory-grown freshwater ice (Murdza et al., 2020c) and to the behavior of lake ice (Murdza et al., 2020a). The flexural strength of saline ice of 5.9±0.6 ‰ depends on the vertical location of the sample within the thickness of an ice puck; i.e., the strength of the upper layers, which have a lower brine content, was found to be as high as three times that of lower layers. Flexural strength is governed by tensile strength which appears to be controlled by crack nucleation. Cyclic strengthening is attributed to the development of an internal back stress that opposes the applied stress and originates possibly from dislocation pileups. The fatigue life of saline ice is erratic.

Andrii Murdza et al.

 
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Andrii Murdza et al.

Andrii Murdza et al.

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Short summary
It has been suggested that the observed sudden breakup of Arctic and Antarctic floating ice covers may be due to fatigue failure associated with cyclic loading from ocean swells that can penetrate deeply into an ice pack. To investigate this possibility, we measured the flexural strength of saline ice after cyclic loading. Contrary to expectations, we find that the flexural strength of saline ice increases upon cycling, similar to the behavior of laboratory-grown ice and natural lake ice.
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