24 Nov 2021
24 Nov 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Recovering and monitoring the thickness, density and elastic properties of sea ice from seismic noise recorded in Svalbard

Agathe Serripierri, Ludovic Moreau, Pierre Boue, Jérôme Weiss, and Philippe Roux Agathe Serripierri et al.
  • Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France

Abstract. Due to global warming, the decline in the Arctic sea ice has been accelerating over the last four decades, with a rate that was not anticipated by climate models. To improve these models, there is the need to rely on comprehensive field data. Seismic methods are known for their potential to estimate sea-ice thickness and mechanical properties with very good accuracy. However, with the hostile environment and logistical difficulties imposed by the polar regions, seismic studies have remained rare. Due to the rapid technological and methodological progress of the last decade, there has been a recent reconsideration of such approaches. This paper introduces a methodological approach for passive monitoring of both sea-ice thickness and mechanical properties. To demonstrate this concept, we use data from a seismic experiment where an array of 247 geophones was deployed on sea ice in a fjord at Svalbard, between March 1 and 24, 2019. From the continuous recording of the ambient seismic field, the empirical Green's function of the seismic waves guided in the ice layer was recovered via the so-called 'noise correlation function'. Using specific array processing, the multi-modal dispersion curves of the ice layer were calculated from the noise correlation function, and then inverted for the thickness and elastic properties of the sea ice via Bayesian inference. The evolution of sea-ice properties was monitored for 24 days, and values are consistent with the literature, as well as with measurements made directly in the field.

Agathe Serripierri 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-2021-340', Anonymous Referee #1, 30 Nov 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-340', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 Jan 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on tc-2021-340', Anonymous Referee #3, 20 Jan 2022

Agathe Serripierri et al.

Agathe Serripierri et al.


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Short summary
As a result of global warming, the sea ice is disappearing at a much faster rate than predicted by climate models. To better understand and predict its ongoing decline, we deployed 247 geophones on the fast ice in Van Mijen Fjord in Svalbard, Norway, in March 2019. The analysis of these data provided a precise daily evolution of the sea ice parameters at this location with high spatial and temporal resolution and accuracy. The results obtained are consistent with the observations made in situ.