Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
09 Feb 2010
 | 09 Feb 2010

Variability of scaling time series in the Arctic sea-ice drift dynamics

A. Chmel, V. N. Smirnov, and I. B. Sheikin

Abstract. The motion of an individual ice floe in the Arctic Ocean was monitored at the Russian research station North Pole 35 established on the ice pack in 2008. The ice floe speed (V) was found to be correlated with wind speed (v) in main features, such as the positions of maxima and minima of V and v. However, the fine structure of the V-variation cannot be explained by the wind forcing alone. There were periods of time when the floe drift was affected by the interactions of ice floes between each other or by the periodical forcing due to either the Coriolis inertia effect or the tidal activity. These data were compared with the "waiting times" statistics that are the distributions of time intervals between subsequent, sufficiently strong changes in the kinetic energy of drifting ice floe. These distributions were measured in several time windows differing in the average wind speed and wind direction, and/or in the mechanical state of the ice pack. The distribution functions N (t>τ), where N is the number of successive events of energy change separated by the time interval t that exceeds τ, constructed in different time windows demonstrate fractal or a multifractal nature of the time series during motion in the consolidated ice pack but were truly random when the ice floe drifted in the highly fragmented sea ice. The latter result shows the existence of a relationship between the long-range mechanical interactions in the pack and long-term memory (time scaling behaviour) of the sea-ice motion.