Data collected by two buoy arrays that operated during the ice seasons of 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 were used to characterize annual cycles of ice motion and deformation in the western Arctic Ocean. An anomalously strong and weak Beaufort Gyre in 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 induced generally anticyclonic and cyclonic sea ice drift during 2014/2015 and 2016/2017, respectively. Cyclonic ice motion resulted in higher contributions of ice divergence to total ice deformation in 2016/2017 than in 2014/2015. In 2014, the autumn ice concentration and multiyear ice coverage were higher than in 2016; consequently, the response of ice motion to wind forcing was weak, and less ice deformation was observed in autumn 2014. During the autumn‐winter transition, the ice‐wind speed ratio, ice deformation rate and its spatial and temporal scaling exponents, and localization of ice deformation decreased markedly in both 2014/2015 and 2016/2017 as a result of freeze‐up and consolidation of ice floes. Such dynamic behavior was maintained through to spring with the further thickening of ice cover. Ice deformation increased due to weakened ice strength as summer approached. The amplitude of the annual cycle of ice deformation rate in the western Arctic Ocean in 2014/2015 and especially in 2016/2017 was larger than that observed during the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) program in 1997/1998. We attribute this phenomenon to ice loss during the recent summers, especially of thick multiyear ice.
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of Climate
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 4119 to 4127
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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