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Open AccessArticle

Heat Flux Sources Analysis to the Ross Ice Shelf Polynya Ice Production Time Series and the Impact of Wind Forcing

by Zian Cheng 1, Xiaoping Pang 1,2, Xi Zhao 1,2,* and Alfred Stein 3
Chinese Antarctic Center of Surveying and Mapping, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Key Laboratory of Polar Surveying and Mapping, National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente, 7514 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(2), 188;
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions)
The variation of Ross Ice Shelf Polynya (RISP) ice production is a synergistic result of several factors. This study aims to analyze the 2003–2017 RISP ice production time series with respect to the impact of wind forcing on heat flux sources. RISP ice production was estimated from passive microwave sea ice concentration images and reanalysis meteorological data using a thermodynamic model. The total ice production was divided into four components according to the amount of ice produced by different heat fluxes: solar radiation component (Vs), longwave radiation component (Vl), sensible heat flux component (Vfs), and latent heat flux component (Vfe). The results show that Vfs made the largest contribution, followed by Vl and Vfe, while Vs had a negative contribution. Our study reveals that total ice production and Vl, Vfs, and Vfe highly correlated with the RISP area size, whereas Vs negatively correlated with the RISP area size in October, and had a weak influence from April to September. Since total ice production strongly correlates with the polynya area and this significantly correlates with the wind speed of the previous day, strong wind events lead to sharply increased ice production most of the time. Strong wind events, however, may only lead to mildly increasing ice production in October, when enlarged Vs reduces the ice production. Wind speed influences ice production by two mechanisms: impact on polynya area, and impact on heat exchange and phase transformation of ice. Vfs and Vfe are influenced by both mechanisms, while Vs and Vl are only influenced by impact on polynya area. These two mechanisms show different degrees of influence on ice production during different periods. Persistent offshore winds were responsible for the large RISP area and high ice production in October 2005 and June 2007. View Full-Text
Keywords: polynya; ice production; Ross Sea; heat flux; wind forcing polynya; ice production; Ross Sea; heat flux; wind forcing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cheng, Z.; Pang, X.; Zhao, X.; Stein, A. Heat Flux Sources Analysis to the Ross Ice Shelf Polynya Ice Production Time Series and the Impact of Wind Forcing. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 188.

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