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GALCIT Colloquium

Friday, March 3, 2023
3:00pm to 4:00pm
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Guggenheim 133 (Lees-Kubota Lecture Hall)
Tracing the New Arctic
Monica Martinez Wilhelmus, Professor, School of Engineering, Brown University,

Turbulence remains one of the major unresolved problems in classical mechanics and an intrinsic feature of the Earth system. In the Arctic Ocean, eddies with small-to-moderate length scales (1 to 100 km) play a critical role in transferring heat, momentum, and fluid properties while acting as a forcing source for drifting ice plates (or floes). However, the lack of high-resolution altimeter measurements and the inherent challenges of obtaining comprehensive in-situ measurements have limited our ability to analyze physical processes along with sea ice-ocean interactions in detail. In this talk, I will present new advances by my group for the automatic identification and tracking of ice floes in optical satellite imagery providing a unique record of ice floe shapes, trajectories, and velocities (including rotational characteristics). The novelty of our framework is that the resulting observations not only allow us to examine the dynamical structure of the sea ice field, but also describe how free-drifting floes can be used as a proxy to infer ocean eddy dynamics within the small-to-moderate scale range. I will present case studies in the Beaufort Gyre and Fram Strait, along with an overview of recently awarded projects to develop a new-generation sea ice product, providing a road map to understanding the dynamics of critical momentum and heat transfer processes in the Arctic Ocean.

For more information, please contact Nathaniel Wei and Peter Gunnarson by email at [email protected].