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The Percolation Phase Transition in Sea Ice


Golden, KM and Ackley, SF and Lytle, VI, The Percolation Phase Transition in Sea Ice, Science, 282, (5397) pp. 2238-2241. ISSN 0036-8075 (1998) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.282.5397.2238


Sea ice exhibits a marked transition in its fluid transport properties at a critical brine volume fraction p(c) of about 5 percent, or temperature T(c) of about -5°C for salinity of 5 parts per thousand. For temperatures warmer than T(c), brine carrying heat and nutrients can move through the ice, whereas for colder temperatures the ice is impermeable. This transition plays a key role in the geophysics, biology, and remote sensing of sea ice. Percolation theory can be used to understand this critical behavior of transport in sea ice. The similarity of sea ice microstructure to compressed powders is used to theoretically predict p(c) of about 5 percent.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Glaciology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Oceanic processes (excl. in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean)
UTAS Author:Lytle, VI (Dr Victoria Lytle)
ID Code:14702
Year Published:1998
Web of Science® Times Cited:339
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic and Southern Ocean Environm
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-09

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