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Scale Dependence and Localization of the Deformation of Arctic Sea Ice

Abstract : A scaling analysis of the deformation of Arctic sea ice over a 3-day time period is performed for scales of 10 to 1000km. The deformation field is derived from satellite radar data; it allows us to study how a very large solid body—the Arctic sea-ice cover—deforms under the action of heterogeneous forcing winds and ocean currents. The deformation is strongly localized at small scales, and can be characterized as multifractal. This behavior is well known for turbulent flows, and is here also observed for a deforming solid. A multiscaling extrapolation to the meter scale (laboratory scale) shows that, at the 3-day time scale, about 15% of the deformation is larger than 10-4 s-1, implying brittle failure, over 0.2% of the total area.
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David Marsan, Harry Stern, Ron Lindsay, Jérôme Weiss. Scale Dependence and Localization of the Deformation of Arctic Sea Ice. Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2004, 93, ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.93.178501⟩. ⟨insu-03607126⟩

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