What is it about?

We study the diffusion of ocean waves by random inhomogeneity of the ice cover in the marginal ice zone. The mechanism is similar to that of light diffusion in a turbid medium, with spatial variations in the ice playing the role of the variations of the refraction index, and the individual ice bodies playing that of the molecules. We compared the theoretical results with field observations in-situ and from satellite.

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Why is it important?

The damping of waves in small-scale ice is often explained by viscous effect, but fitting the experimental data requires a viscosity dependent on the ice thickness and the the experimentally observed spectral peaks cannot be explained by a viscous dynamics. The present analysis shows that diffusion is an important component of wave dynamics also in the case of small ice bodies.

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This page is a summary of: Diffusion of gravity waves by random space inhomogeneities in pancake-ice fields. Theory and validation with wave buoys and synthetic aperture radar, Physics of Fluids, September 2021, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0061374.
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