Relation between sea ice freeboard and draft and its seasonal evolution in the Central Arctic

philipp.anhaus [ at ]


Relating the sea-ice surface to the under-ice topography is a timely scientific effort in the Arctic. This relation is crucial for estimating the ice thickness distribution for large‐scale modelling, for assessing the mechanical force that ships need to overcome, for risk evaluation of offshore structures, for determining roughness characteristics to derive wind and water drag coefficients for dynamics modelling, for sound scattering, and for the confinement of under-ice oil spills. Existing relations are based on numerical modelling assuming estimates of snow depth, snow density, and ice density or are based on field observations confined to specific areas and short time periods. MOSAiC provided the first year-long, high-resolution dataset of sea-ice draft derived from a multibeam echosounder. In combination with co-located freeboard estimates from airborne mapping of the surface, we construct the 3D sea-ice topography to study the evolution of sea-ice geometry both at the surface and underside. We can obtain direct and high precision relations between draft and freeboard on an almost weekly basis for an ice floe continuously drifting from the North Pole to Fram Strait during winter, spring, and summer. A precise evaluation of total ice thickness, ice density, freeboard, draft and their respective relations on small scales is crucial information to future satellite remote sensing ice thickness retrievals, a key asset of climate monitoring in the Arctic.

Item Type
Conference (Lecture)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Publication Status
Eprint ID
Cite as
Anhaus, P. , Katlein, C. , Matero, I. , Nicolaus, M. , Hutter, N. , Jutila, A. J. and Haas, C. (2023): Relation between sea ice freeboard and draft and its seasonal evolution in the Central Arctic

[thumbnail of Anhaus_etal_MOSAiC_ROV_multibeam_data_Boulder2023.pdf]

Download (1MB) | Preview


Research Platforms

PS > 122/1 (MOSAiC20192020)
PS > 122/2 (MOSAiC20192020)
PS > 122/3 (MOSAiC20192020)
PS > 122/4 (MOSAiC20192020)
PS > 122/5 (MOSAiC20192020)
PS > 122/6 (MOSAiC20192020)

Edit Item Edit Item