Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-114
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-114

  21 Apr 2021

21 Apr 2021

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

Freshwater Sources and Sinks for Arctic Sea Ice in Summer 

Don Perovich1, Madison Smith2, Bonnie Light2, and Melinda Webster3 Don Perovich et al.
  • 1Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, 03755, USA
  • 2Polar Science Center, University of Washington, Seattle, 98105, USA
  • 3Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, 99775, USA

Abstract. On Arctic sea ice, the melt of snow and sea ice generate a summertime flux of fresh water to the upper ocean. The partitioning of this freshwater to storage in melt ponds and deposition in the ocean has consequences for the surface heat budget, the sea ice mass balance, and primary productivity. Synthesizing results from the SHEBA field experiment, we calculate the sources and sinks of freshwater produced during summer melt. The total freshwater input to the system from snow melt, ice melt, and precipitation from 1 June to 9 August was equivalent to a layer of water 80 cm thick over the ice-covered and open ocean. 85 % of this freshwater was deposited in the ocean and only 15 % of this freshwater was stored in ponds. The cumulative contributions of freshwater input to the ocean from drainage from the ice surface and bottom melting were roughly equal.

Don Perovich et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-114', Mats Granskog, 12 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Don Perovich, 19 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-114', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Jul 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Don Perovich, 19 Jul 2021

Don Perovich et al.

Don Perovich et al.

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Short summary
During summer, Arctic sea ice melts on its surface, bottom and lateral edges. Some of this fresh meltwater is stored on the ice surface in features called melt ponds. The rest flows into the ocean. The meltwater flowing into the upper ocean affects ice growth and melt, upper ocean properties, and ocean ecosystems. Using field measurements, we found that the summer meltwater was equal to an 80 cm thick layer. 85 % of this meltwater flowed into the ocean and 15 % was stored in melt ponds.