Using Icepack to reproduce Ice Mass Balance buoy observations in landfast ice: improvements from the mushy layer thermodynamics
Abstract. The column thermodynamics package (Icepack v1.1.0) of the Community Ice Code (CICE) version 6 is used to reproduce observations from two Ice Mass Balance (IMB) buoys co-deployed in the landfast ice close to Nain (Labrador) in February 2017. A new automated surface retrieval algorithm is used to determine the ice thickness and snow depths from the measured vertical temperature profiles. The buoys recorded heavy snow precipitation over relatively thin ice, negative ice freeboards and delayed snow flooding. Icepack simulations are produced to evaluate the performance of the Bitz and Lipscomb (1999) thermodynamics used in the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) ice-ocean systems and to investigate the improvements associated with the use of mushy layer physics. Results show that the Bitz and Lipscomb (1999) scheme produces a smooth thermodynamics growth that fails to capture the observed variability in bottom sea ice congelation rates. The mushy layer physics produces similar temperature profiles but better captures the variability in congelation rates at the ice bottom interface, with periods of rapid ice growth that coincide with IMB observations. Large differences are also found associated with the snow-ice parameterization: the volume of snow-ice formed during flooding is largely underestimated when using a mass conserving snow-formation scheme, but largely improved when using the mushy layer parameterization in which sea-water is filling the porosity of the snow layer. Both schemes are however unable to reproduce the delayed snow-ice formation, as they rely on the hydrostatic balance and do not allow for negative freeboards. This calls for added brine fraction or ice porosity dependencies in the snow-ice parameterizations.
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