Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx): 1. Scaling and Statistical Properties of Sea‐Ice Deformation Fields

Qiang.Wang [ at ]


As the sea-ice modeling community is shifting to advanced numerical frameworks, developing new sea-ice rheologies, and increasing model spatial resolution, ubiquitous deformation features in the Arctic sea ice are now being resolved by sea-ice models. Initiated at the Forum for Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis, the Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx) aims at evaluating state-of-the-art sea-ice models using existing and new metrics to understand how the simulated deformation fields are affected by different representations of sea-ice physics (rheology) and by model configuration. Part 1 of the SIREx analysis is concerned with evaluation of the statistical distribution and scaling properties of sea-ice deformation fields from 35 different simulations against those from the RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS). For the first time, the viscous-plastic (and the elastic-viscous-plastic variant), elastic-anisotropic-plastic, and Maxwell-elasto-brittle rheologies are compared in a single study. We find that both plastic and brittle sea-ice rheologies have the potential to reproduce the observed RGPS deformation statistics, including multi-fractality. Model configuration (e.g., numerical convergence, atmospheric representation, spatial resolution) and physical parameterizations (e.g., ice strength parameters and ice thickness distribution) both have effects as important as the choice of sea-ice rheology on the deformation statistics. It is therefore not straightforward to attribute model performance to a specific rheological framework using current deformation metrics. In light of these results, we further evaluate the statistical properties of simulated Linear Kinematic Features in a SIREx Part 2 companion paper.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1029/2021JC017667

Cite as
Bouchat, A. , Hutter, N. , Chanut, J. , Dupont, F. , Dukhovskoy, D. , Garric, G. , Lee, Y. J. , Lemieux, J. , Lique, C. , Losch, M. , Maslowski, W. , Myers, P. G. , Ólason, E. , Rampal, P. , Rasmussen, T. , Talandier, C. , Tremblay, B. and Wang, Q. (2022): Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx): 1. Scaling and Statistical Properties of Sea‐Ice Deformation Fields , Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 127 (4) . doi: 10.1029/2021JC017667

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