Autonomous underwater vehicle measurements of surface wave decay and directional spectra in the marginal sea ice zone
In March 2003 several autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) missions were carried out under sea ice in the western Bellingshausen Sea. Data from the upward-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) on the “Autosub” AUV indicate a strongly oscillating horizontal velocity of the ice due to ocean swell. Swell period, height, direction, and directional spread have been computed every 800 m from the ice edge to 10 km inward for three missions. Exponential, period-dependent attenuation of waves propagating through sea ice was observed. Mean period increased with distance from the ice edge. The wave field refracted during propagation. The directional wave spread does not seem to relate to distance from the ice edge, although higher frequencies tended to be more spread. If suitably deployed, an ordinary ADCP may be used with this technique to study both scalar and directional properties of waves in open or ice-covered water.
Authors: Hayes, Daniel R., Jenkins, Adrian, McPhail, Stephen