8th Conference on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography


Heat transfer in melt ponds

Eric D. Skyllingstad, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; and C. Paulson

Melt pond coverage over the summer ice pack plays a primary role in setting the ice surface albedo. Melt ponds are noticeably darker than the surrounding ice and may represent an increased source of radiative energy into the underlying ocean. Many factors controlling melt pond size and distribution are not well understood, including the effects of ice topography, snow accumulation, and melt rates on the melt pond bottom and edges. In this work we examine the dynamics of heat transport in a melt pond using a large-eddy simulation (LES) model. Using LES, edge and bottom melt rates are calculated based on incoming solar radiative flux and wind driven circulations. Our goal is to determine if pond growth is controlled by wind driven circulations or simply through conduction of heat from the melt pond water to the ice edge. Results are presented for a range of wind speeds and melt pond sizes. We also examine the effects of surface melt water entering the pond from the edges with temperatures at the ice freezing point.

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Session 7, Atmospheric/Sea-Ice/Ocean Exchanges
Wednesday, 12 January 2005, 8:30 AM-9:30 AM

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