A computational fluid dynamics model for the small-scale dynamics of wave, ice floe and interstitial grease ice interaction

Rutger Marquart, Alfred Bogaers, Sebastian Skatulla, Alberto Alberello, Alessandro Toffoli, Carina Schwarz, Marcello Vichi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


The marginal ice zone is a highly dynamical region where sea ice and ocean waves interact. Large-scale sea ice models only compute domain-averaged responses. As the majority of the marginal ice zone consists of mobile ice floes surrounded by grease ice, finer-scale modelling is needed to resolve variations of its mechanical properties, wave-induced pressure gradients and drag forces acting on the ice floes. A novel computational fluid dynamics approach is presented that considers the heterogeneous sea ice material composition and accounts for the wave-ice interaction dynamics. Results show, after comparing three realistic sea ice layouts with similar concentration and floe diameter, that the discrepancy between the domain-averaged temporal stress and strain rate evolutions increases for decreasing wave period. Furthermore, strain rate and viscosity are mostly affected by the variability of ice floe shape and diameter.

Original languageEnglish
Article number176
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Grease ice
  • Marginal ice zone
  • Pancake ice
  • Sea ice dynamics
  • Sea ice rheology
  • Wave-ice interaction

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