Wave propagation in continuous sea ice: An experimental perspective

Giulio Passerotti, Alberto Alberello, Azam Dolatshah, Luke Bennetts, Otto Puolakka, Franz Von Bock Und Polach, Marco Klein, Moritz Hartmann, Jaak Monbaliu, Alessandro Toffoli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


Ocean waves penetrate hundreds of kilometres into the icecovered ocean. Waves fracture the level ice into small floes, herd floes, introduce warm water and overwash the floes, accelerating ice melt and causing collisions, which concurrently erodes the floes and influences the large-scale deformation. Concomitantly, interactions between waves and the sea ice cause wave energy to reduce with distance travelled into the ice cover, attenuating wave driven effects. Here a pilot experiment in the ice tank at Aalto University (Finland) is presented to discuss how the properties of irregular small amplitude (linear) waves change as they propagate through continuous model sea ice. Irregular waves with a JONSWAP spectral shape were mechanically generated with a very low initial wave steepness to avoid ice break up and maintain a consistent continuous ice cover throughout the experiments. Observations show an exponential attenuation of wave energy with distance. High frequency components attenuated more rapidly than the low frequency counterparts, in agreement with a frequency-cubed power-law. The more effective attenuation in the high frequency range induced a substantial downshift of the spectral peak, stretching the dominant wave component as it propagates in ice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolar and Arctic Sciences and Technology
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791884393
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventASME 2020 39th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 3 Aug 20207 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering - OMAE


ConferenceASME 2020 39th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, OMAE 2020
CityVirtual, Online

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