, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 103–115 | Cite as

The East Antarctic sea ice zone: Ice characteristics and drift

  • Allison Ian 


Results from studies of the surface energy balance and the ocean structure in the presence of fast ice near Mawson on the Antarctic coast are used to illustrate the important ways in which sea ice interacts with the ocean and atmosphere. Away from the coast, ship and drifting buoy observations are used to characterize the E Antarctic sea ice zone in a study area between 60° E and 120° E and S of 61° S. Divergent drift over most of the region plays a dominant role in expanding the ice extent in autumn and in determining the characteristics of the pack. Much of the sea ice in the region is young thin ice which forms in leads and polynyas, and in late spring in the study area, the ice thickness averaged over the total ocean surface within the ice edge less than 0.4 m. Even in winter the majority of ice floes off E Antarctica are probably less than 1 m thick.


Atmosphere Surface Energy Environmental Management Energy Balance Dominant Role 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ackley, S. F.: Drifting buoy measurements on Weddell Sea pack ice. Antarctic J. of the US 14, 4, 106–107 (1979)Google Scholar
  2. Ackley, S. F.; Holt, E. T.: Sea ice data buoys in the Weddell Sea; 1979–1980. USA CRREL Technical Note 1983.Google Scholar
  3. Ackley, S. F.; Clarke, O. B.; Smith, S. J.: Physical, chemical and biological properties of ice cores. Reports of the US-USSR Weddell Polynya Expedition, October–November 1981, Volume 4. USA Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory 1983.Google Scholar
  4. Ackley, S. F.; Keliher, T. E.: Antarctic sea ice dynamics and its possible climatic effects. AIDJEX Bull. 33, 53–78 (1976)Google Scholar
  5. Allison, I.: Antarctic sea ice growth and oceanic heat flux. In: Allison, I. (ed.), Sea Level, Ice and Climatic Change, pp. 161–170. IAHS Publ. No. 131, 1981.Google Scholar
  6. Allison, I.: Pack ice drift off east Antarctica and some implications. Annals of Glaciology 12, (in press)Google Scholar
  7. Allison, I.; Akerman, G.: Sea ice and ocean energy balance studies at Mawson, Antarctica. In: Pritchard, R. S. (ed.), Sea Ice Processes and Models, pp. 347–359. University of Washington Press, Seattle 1980.Google Scholar
  8. Allison, I.; Tivendale, C. M.; Akerman, G. J.; Tann, J. M.; Wills, R. H.: Seasonal variations in the surface energy exchanges over Antarctic sea ice and coastal waters. Annals of Glaciology 3, 12–16 (1982)Google Scholar
  9. Allison, I.; Tivendale, C. M.; Copson, G. R.: Annual salt and energy budget beneath an Antarctic fast ice cover. Annals of Glaciology 6, 182–186 (1985)Google Scholar
  10. Andreas, E. L.; Makshtas, A. P.: Energy exchange over Antarctic sea ice in the spring. J. Geophys. Res. 90, 7199–7212 (1985)Google Scholar
  11. Budd, W. F.: The Southern Hemisphere circulation of atmosphere ocean and sea ice. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Southern Hemisphere Meteorology, pp. 101–106. American Meteorological Society 1986.Google Scholar
  12. Carleton, A. M.: Ice-ocean-atmosphere interactions at high southern latitudes in winter from satellite observation. Australian Meteorological Magazine 29, 183–195 (1981)Google Scholar
  13. Cavalieri, D. J.; Parkinson, C. L.: Large scale variations in observed Antarctic sea ice extent and associated atmospheric circulation. Mon. Wea. Rev. 109, 2323–2336 (1981)Google Scholar
  14. Comiso, J. C.; Ackley, S. F.; Gordon, A. L.: Antarctic sea ice microwave signatures and their correlation with in-situ ice observations. J. Geophys. Res. 89, 662–672 (1984)Google Scholar
  15. Comiso, J. C.; Zwally, H. J.: Antarctic sea-ice concentrations inferred from Nimbus 5 ESMR and Landsat imagery. J. Geophy. Res. 87, 5836–5844 (1982)Google Scholar
  16. Fletcher, J. O.: Ice extent on the Southern Ocean and its relation to world climate. Rand Corp. Memo. RM-5793-NSF, 1969.Google Scholar
  17. Godin, R. H.: Data sources and sea ice products of Fleet Weather Facility/Joint Ice Center, Suitland. Glaciological Data, Report, GD5, 29–35, 1979.Google Scholar
  18. Gordon, A. L.; Taylor, H. W.: Seasonal change of Antarctic sea ice cover. Science 187, 346–347 (1975)Google Scholar
  19. Gow, A. J.; Ackley, S. F.; Weeks, W. F.; Govoni, J. W.: Physical and structural characteristics of Antarctic sea ice. Annals of Glaciology 3, 113–117 (1982)Google Scholar
  20. Hofman, E. E.: The large-scale horizontal structure of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current from FGGE drifters. J. Geophys. Res. 90, 7087–7097 (1985)Google Scholar
  21. Jacka, T. H.: A computer data base for Antarctic sea ice extent. ANARE Research Notes 13 (1983)Google Scholar
  22. Jacka, T. H.; Allison, I.; Thwaites, R.; Wilson, J. C.: Characteristics of the seasonal sea ice of East Antarctica and comparisons with satellite observations. Annals of Glaciology 9, 85–91 (1987)Google Scholar
  23. Lemke, P.; Trinkl, E. W.; Hasselman, K.: Stochastic dynamic analysis of polar sea ice variability. J. Phys, Oceanogr. 10, 2100–2120 (1980)Google Scholar
  24. Maykut, G. A.: Energy exchange over young sea ice in the central Arctic. J. Geophys. Res. 83, 3646–3658 (1978)Google Scholar
  25. McLain, E. P.: Sea ice observations by NOAA's National Environmental Satellite Service. Glaciological Data, Report GD-2, 33-41. WDC-A, Glaciology 1978.Google Scholar
  26. Naval Oceanography Command: Sea ice climatic atlas: Volume 1, Antarctica. NAVAIR 50-1C-540, 1985.Google Scholar
  27. Parkinson, C. L.; Cavalieri, D. J.: Interannual sea ice variations and sea ice/atmosphere interactions in the Southern Ocean, 1973–1975. Annals of Glaciology 3, 249–254 (1982)Google Scholar
  28. Schwerdtfeger, W.; Kachelhoffer, S. J.: The frequency of cyclonic vortices over the Southern Ocean in relation to the extension of the pack belt. Antarctic J. of the US 8, 234 (1973)Google Scholar
  29. Smith, N. R.; Dong, Z.; Kerry, K. R.; Wright, S.: Water masses and circulation in the region of Prydz Bay, Antarctica. Deep Sea Res. 31, 1121–1147 (1984)Google Scholar
  30. Streten, N. A.: Antarctic sea ice and related atmospheric circulation during FGGE. Archiv. Met. Geophys. Biokl. A, 32, 231–246 (1983)Google Scholar
  31. Streten, N. A.; Pike, D. J.: Characteristics of the broadscale Antarctic sea ice extent and the associated atmospheric circulation, 1972–1977. Archiv. Met. Geophys. Biokl. 29, 279–299 (1980)Google Scholar
  32. Sturman, A. P.; Anderson, M. R.: A comparison of Antarctic sea ice data sets and inferred trends in ice area. J. Climate and Appl. Meteorol. 24, 275–280 (1985)Google Scholar
  33. Tchernia, P.; Jeannin, P. F.: Circulation in Antarctic waters as revealed by iceberg tracks, 1972–1983. Polar Record 22 (138), 263–269 (1984)Google Scholar
  34. Weller, G.: Heat energy transfer through a four-layer system; air, snow, sea ice, sea water. J. Geophys. Res. 73, 1209–1220 (1968)Google Scholar
  35. Weller, G.: Spatial and temporal variations in the south polar surface energy balance. Mon. Weath. Rev. 108, 2006–2014 (1980)Google Scholar
  36. Zwally, H. J.; Comiso, J. C.; Parkinson, C. L.; Campbell, W. J.; Carsey, F. D.; Gloersen, P.: Antarctic sea-ice, 1973–1976: satellite microwave observations. NASA SP-459, Washington 1983.Google Scholar
  37. Zwally, H. J.; Gloersen, P.: Passive microwave images of the polar regions and research applications. Polar Record 18, 431–450 (1979)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison Ian 
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Antarctic DivisionKingstonAustralia

Personalised recommendations