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Physical length scales of wind-blown snow redistribution and accumulation on relatively smooth Arctic first-year sea ice

Moon, W; Nandan, V; Scharien, RK; Wilkinson, J; Yackel, JJ; Barrett, A; Lawrence, I; ... Else, B; + view all (2019) Physical length scales of wind-blown snow redistribution and accumulation on relatively smooth Arctic first-year sea ice. Environmental Research Letters , 14 (10) , Article 104003. 10.1088/1748-9326/ab3b8d. Green open access

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Abstract

Snow thickness measurements over relatively smooth Arctic first-year sea ice, obtained near Cambridge Bay in the Canadian Arctic (2014, 2016 and 2017) and near Elson Lagoon in the Alaskan Arctic (2003 and 2006), are analyzed to quantify physical length-scales and their relevant scaling behaviors. We use the multi-fractal temporally weighted detrended fluctuation analysis method to detect two major physical length-scales from the two independent study locations. Our results suggest that physical processes underlying the formation of snow dunes are consistent and that the wind is the main process shaping the snow thickness variability and redistribution. One scale, around 10 m, appears to be related to the formation of the snow 'dunes', while the other scale, between 30 and 100 m, is likely associated with the various interactions of the snow dunes such as merging, calving and lateral linking. Results imply that snow on level sea ice shows self-organized characteristics.

Type: Article
Title: Physical length scales of wind-blown snow redistribution and accumulation on relatively smooth Arctic first-year sea ice
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab3b8d
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab3b8d
Language: English
Additional information: Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0). Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083043
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