Permeability &




Hajo Eicken's

Tracer studies of meltwater transport and ablation of Arctic sea ice

Overview and first results


The generation and redistribution of snow and ice meltwater in summer Arctic pack ice has a significant impact on (1) the surface albedo (in particular through pooling of meltwater at the surface), (2) the vertical and lateral heat and salt transfer in the ice and (3) ice-ocean interaction (in particular through meltwater pooling and freezing under the ice). Meltwater transport and its role in ice ablation were studied from June to August 1998, at the field site of the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) Program in the North American Arctic. A major aim of the present study was to utilize tracer techniques to determine pathways and rates of meltwater transport and assess the role of "hydraulic" processes in sea-ice ablation.

These web pages are meant to provide an overview over the project and summarize first results.


A summary of the project including information on products resulting out of this work is also available.



The author gratefully acknowledges support through NSF (SGER) Grant OPP-9872626. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. It was a great pleasure being part of the SHEBA sea-ice outfield team, ably led by player-coach Don Perovich. Many thanks also to "Des Groseilliers" crew and the SHEBA Project Office for help and support. Mass-spectrometer measurements were kindly carried out at the Stable Isotope Laboratory, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary through collaboration with H. R. Krouse.

Last update: August 27, 1999

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