A Coupled System for Investigating the Physics of Wave-Ice Interactions

MD Orzech and FY Shi and J Veeramony and S Bateman and J Calantoni and JT Kirby, JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC AND OCEANIC TECHNOLOGY, 35, 1471-1485 (2018).

DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-17-0189.1

A coupled model system has been developed to investigate the physics of wave attenuation and ice edge retreat in the marginal ice zone (MIZ) at small scales O(m). A phase-dependent finite-volume/finite-difference fluid dynamics model is used to simulate waves and currents, and a discrete element software package is employed to represent ice floes as bonded collections of individually tracked smaller particles. We first review the development of the coupled system, with an emphasis on the coupling software and the representation of wave-ice shear stress. Then we describe a series of simulations that were conducted to evaluate and qualitatively validate the performance of the coupled models. The system produced reasonable results for cases of a vertically oscillating ice block and a free-floating ice floe in monochromatic waves. In larger- scale simulations involving multiple ice floes and pancake ice, estimated transmission and reflection coefficients were similar to those obtained from alternate models and/or data, although numerical dissipation may have reduced estimates of transmitted wave energy in longer wave flumes. Challenges and limitations involving relative length scales in the coupled wave and ice domains are explained and discussed.

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