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Evaluation of high-resolution sea ice models on the basis of statistical and scaling properties of Arctic sea ice drift and deformation
Girard, L.; Weiss, J.; Molines, J.M.; Barnier, B.; Bouillon, S. (2009). Evaluation of high-resolution sea ice models on the basis of statistical and scaling properties of Arctic sea ice drift and deformation. J. Geophys. Res. 114(C8). dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008JC005182
In: Journal of Geophysical Research. American Geophysical Union: Richmond. ISSN 0148-0227, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 231068 [ OMA ]

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Girard, L.
  • Weiss, J.
  • Molines, J.M.
  • Barnier, B.
  • Bouillon, S., more

Abstract
    Sea ice drift and deformation from models are evaluated on the basis of statistical and scaling properties. These properties are derived from two observation data sets: the RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS) and buoy trajectories from the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP). Two simulations obtained with the Louvain-la-Neuve Ice Model (LIM) coupled to a high-resolution ocean model and a simulation obtained with the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model (CICE) were analyzed. Model ice drift compares well with observations in terms of large-scale velocity field and distributions of velocity fluctuations although a significant bias on the mean ice speed is noted. On the other hand, the statistical properties of ice deformation are not well simulated by the models: (1) The distributions of strain rates are incorrect: RGPS distributions of strain rates are power law tailed, i.e., exhibit "wild randomness," whereas models distributions remain in the Gaussian attraction basin, i.e., exhibit "mild randomness." (2) The models are unable to reproduce the spatial and temporal correlations of the deformation fields: In the observations, ice deformation follows spatial and temporal scaling laws that express the heterogeneity and the intermittency of deformation. These relations do not appear in simulated ice deformation. Mean deformation in models is almost scale independent. The statistical properties of ice deformation are a signature of the ice mechanical behavior. The present work therefore suggests that the mechanical framework currently used by models is inappropriate. A different modeling framework based on elastic interactions could improve the representation of the statistical and scaling properties of ice deformation.

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