A non-destructive method for measuring the salinity and solid fraction of growing sea ice in-situ

Peer Reviewed

Notz D, Wettlaufer JS, & Worster MG

Journal of Glaciology 51, Issue 172, pages 159-166, 2005, 10.3189/172756505781829548.

We describe an instrument developed to make in situ measurements of salinity and solid-fraction profiles in growing sea ice. The vertical resolution of the measurements is up to a few millimeters, with a temporal resolution of up to fractions of a second. The technique is based on impedance measurements between platinum wires around which sea ice grows. Data obtained using this instrument in laboratory experiments are in good agreement with theoretical predictions. In a field test in the Arctic, the bulk salinity of growing sea ice has been measured in situ throughout the whole depth of the ice layer. The data are compared with bulk salinities obtained from ice cores, and confirm the general understanding that the bulk salinity in ice-core studies is significantly underestimated in the lower parts of the cores. The approach can also be used in other glaciological applications and for general studies of two-phase, two-component porous media.

Keywords: Salinity, Sea ice, Growing sea ice, Solid fraction
Categories: Antarctic, Arctic, Natural Science