Acta Oceanologica Sinica

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 44–55 | Cite as

Arctic sea ice volume export through the Fram Strait from combined satellite and model data: 1979–2012

  • Zehua Zhang
  • Haibo BiEmail author
  • Ke Sun
  • Haijun Huang
  • Yanxia Liu
  • Liwen Yan


By combing satellite-derived ice motion and concentration with ice thickness fields from a popular model PIOMAS we obtain the estimates of ice volume flux passing the Fram Strait over the 1979–2012 period. Since current satellite and field observations for sea ice thickness are limited in time and space, the use of PIOMAS is expected to fill the gap by providing temporally continued ice thickness fields. Calculated monthly volume flux exhibits a prominent annual cycle with the peak record in March (roughly 145 km3/month) and the trough in August (10 km3/month). Annual ice volume flux (1 132 km3) is primarily attributable to winter (October through May) outflow (approximately 92%). Uncertainty in annual ice volume export is estimated to be 55 km3 (or 5.7%). Our results also verified the extremely large volume flux appearing between late 1980s and mid- 1990s. Nevertheless, no clear trend was found in our volume flux results. Ice motion is the primary factor in the determination of behavior of volume flux. Ice thickness presented a general decline trend may partly enhance or weaken the volume flux trend. Ice concentration exerted the least influences on modulating trends and variability in volume flux. Moreover, the linkage between winter ice volume flux and three established Arctic atmospheric schemes were examined. Compared to NAO, the DA and EOF3 mechanism explains a larger part of variations of ice volume flux across the strait.

Key words

sea ice volume flux remote sensing PIOMAS Fram Strait 


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The authors thank all the following data providers. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) provide the satellite-derived ice motion and concentration data. PIOMAS model ice thickness fields are provided by the Polar Science Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington. Thanks for the constructive suggestions from Julienne Stroeve and Gunnar Spreen.


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Oceanography and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zehua Zhang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Haibo Bi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ke Sun
    • 4
  • Haijun Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yanxia Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Liwen Yan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Laboratory for Marine GeologyQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.The First Institute of OceanographyState Oceanic AdministrationQingdaoChina

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