Evolution of the Marginal Ice Zone: Adapting sampling with autonomous gliders

PI: Craig Lee, Luc Rainville and Jason Gobat
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research ()
Brenner, Samuel , et al., 2020. The evolution of a shallow front in the Arctic marginal ice zone, Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 8.
Cole, Sylvia T. , et al., 2018. Internal Waves in the Arctic: Influence of Ice Concentration, Ice Roughness, and Surface Layer Stratification, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123, 5571-5586.
Lee, Craig M. and Thomson, Jim 2017. An Autonomous Approach to Observing the Seasonal Ice Zone in the Western Arctic, Oceanography (Washington, D.C.), 30, 56-68.
Zhang, Jinlun , et al., 2016. The Beaufort Gyre intensification and stabilization: A model-observation synthesis, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 121, 7933-7952.
Webster, S. E. , et al., 2015. Towards real-time under-ice acoustic navigation at mesoscale ranges, 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 537-544.
Lee, C. M. , et al., 2013. The Arctic: Toward an International Network of Arctic Observing Systems [in “State of the Climate in 2012”], Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 94, S1-S258.
Rainville, Luc , et al., 2011. Impact of Wind-Driven Mixing in the Arctic Ocean, Oceanography (Washington, D.C.), 24, 136-145.

The spatial extent, thickness, and structure of Arctic sea ice cover are indelibly linked to the atmosphere and ocean. Seasonal and long-term changes in Arctic sea ice extent have profound impacts on the balance of processes controlling the ocean-ice-atmosphere system. Several positive feedback mechanisms, particularly for processes occurring near the marginal ice zone (MIZ), have the potential to amplify the seasonality of the Arctic.

As part of the ONR sponsored Marginal Ice Zone Departmental Research Initiative (DRI) An array of Seagliders will follow the retreating ice edge to document upper ocean structure and quantify the relative importance of processes that impact the ice-ocean boundary layer in and around the MIZ. Specifically, the glider program will:

  1. Collect observations that span open water, the MIZ and full ice-cover.
  2. Resolve the short temporal and spatial scales associated with key upper ocean processes.
  3. Quantify how the dominant upper ocean processes vary as a function of location relative to the MIZ.
  4. Measure turbulent mixing rates (via micro-temperature) in the upper water column.
  5. Measure multi-spectral downwelling irradiance in the upper water column.
  6. Provide high-resolution spatial context for other components of the DRI.

Gliders will work adaptively and complement the other components of the DRI.