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Weddell Sea iceberg drift: Five years of observations

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Citation:
Schodlok, M. , Hellmer, H. , Rohardt, G. and Fahrbach, E. (2006): Weddell Sea iceberg drift: Five years of observations , Journal of geophysical research-oceans, Vol. 111(C6), C06018 . doi: 10.1029/2004JC002661
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Abstract:

Since 1999, 52 icebergs have been tagged with GPS buoys in the Weddell Seato enable monitoring of their position. The chosen icebergs were of small tomedium size, with a few icebergs larger than 10 km associatedwith the calving of icebergs A38 and A43 from the Ronne Ice Shelf.The majority of icebergs were tagged off Neumayer Station (8E, 70S).It was found that smaller bergs with edges shorter than 200 m had the shortestlife cycle (< 0.5 yr). Iceberg and thus freshwater export out of theWeddell Sea was found to be highly variable. In one year the majority of buoysdeployed remained in the Weddell Sea, constituting about 40 % of the NCEP P-Efreshwater input, whereas in other years all of the tagged icebergs were exported.The observed drifts of icebergs and sea-ice showed a remarkably coherent motion.The analysis of an iceberg - sea-ice buoy array in the western Weddell Seaand an iceberg array in the eastern Weddell Sea showed a coherent sea-iceiceberg drift in sea-ice concentrations above 86 %. Dynamic kinematic parameter(DKP) during the course of coherent movement were low and deviations from the meancourse associated with the passage of low-pressure system. The length scale ofcoherent movement was estimated to be less than 250km; about half the value found forthe Arctic Ocean.

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