Microstructure evolution of young sea ice from a Svalbard fjord using micro-CT analysis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Glaciology. 2021, 1-20. 10.1017/jog.2021.119
We analysed the three-dimensional microstructure of sea ice by means of X-ray-micro computed tomography. Microscopic (brine- and air- pore sizes, numbers and connectivity) and macroscopic (salinity, density, porosity) properties of young Arctic sea ice were analysed. The analysis is based on ice cores obtained during spring 2016. Centrifuging of brine prior to CT imaging has allowed us to derive confident relationships between the open, vertically connected and total porosity of young sea ice at relatively high temperatures. We analysed the dependence of the microscopic properties on vertical position and total brine porosity. Most bulk properties (salinity,density) and pore space properties (pore sizes and their distribution) show a strong dependence on total brine porosity, but did not change significantly over the course of the field work.However, significant changes were observed for pore numbers decreasing over time) and pore connectivity (increasing over time). CT-based salinity determinations are subject to larger than standard uncertainties (from conductivity), while the CT method yields important information about the salinity contributions from closed and open pores. We also performed a comparison of CT-based air porosity with calculations based on density from hydrostatic weighing. The consistency is encouraging and gives confidence to our CT-based results.