Brief communication: Pancake ice floe size distribution during the winter expansion of the Antarctic marginal ice zone

Alberto Alberello, Miguel Onorato, Luke Bennetts, Marcello Vichi, Clare Eayrs, Keith Machutchon, Alessandro Toffoli

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The size distribution of pancake ice floes is calculated from images acquired during a voyage to the Antarctic marginal ice zone in the winter expansion season. Results show that 50&thinsp;% of the sea ice area is made up of floes with diameters of 2.3-4&thinsp;m. The floe size distribution shows two distinct slopes on either side of the 2.3-4&thinsp;m range, neither of which conforms to a power law. Following a relevant recent study, it is conjectured that the growth of pancakes from frazil forms the distribution of small floes (<span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">D&lt;2.3</span>&thinsp;m), and welding of pancakes forms the distribution of large floes (<span classCombining double low line"inline-formula">D&gt;4</span>&thinsp;m).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

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