A tool to evaluate accessibility due to sea-ice cover: a case study of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica


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Katharina.Teschke [ at ] hifmb.de

Abstract

Sea ice is the major constraint on human activities in the Southern Ocean. Depending on a vessel's ice class, human mobility may be restricted or even prevented altogether by sea-ice conditions. This may imply limited access to research or monitoring stations, preferred fishing grounds or attractive tourist sites. Here, we introduce a statistical model that evaluates the sea-ice cover with two measures: 1) accessibility (i.e. the probability that a given area is navigable by vessels at a given time) and 2) repeated accessibility (i.e. the probability that a given area is navigable by vessels at a given time and again at least once within a defined timespan). We use daily sea-ice concentration data from 2002 to 2020 to demonstrate this tool and its functioning regarding the spatiotemporal variability of sea-ice cover in the wider Weddell Sea region. These findings reflect known characteristics of sea-ice distribution and dynamics in the Weddell Sea, confirming the functionality of our simple tool for determining repeated accessibility of certain areas. Such a tool may facilitate the planning of research and monitoring activities in the Southern Ocean, as well as in Arctic seas.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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Peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
55615
DOI 10.1017/S0954102021000523

Cite as
Pehlke, H. , Brey, T. , Konijnenberg, R. and Teschke, K. (2022): A tool to evaluate accessibility due to sea-ice cover: a case study of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica , Antarctic Science, pp. 1-8 . doi: 10.1017/S0954102021000523


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