Studies of Eddies in the Marginal Ice Zone Along the East Greenland Current Using Spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
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The characteristic ice edge eddies in the Marginal Ice Zone (MIZ) are studied based on satellite information from the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) instrument. The eddies frequency of existence during the day, month, and year, and their relationship to the wind field conditions are considered. On average, more than 1000 sea ice eddies were counted along the ice margin per year for 2008 and 2009. Eddies contribute to an enhanced melting by forcing contact between the sea ice and the warmer water off the ice edge. The amount of sea ice an eddy can carry is estimated to be 1413.7 km^2. This constitutes 0.7*10^6 by including the modified total of eddies during a year. The daily retreat of the ice edge is found to be 3.5 km d^-1 per 100 km of ice edge. This estimation is based on the bottom ablation, radius of the eddy, distance between two neighbouring eddies, thickness of ice and fraction of sea ice trapped in an eddy. The influence of the wind shows that relative low wind speed and wind directed from the north favours the existence of eddies.