The surface energy budget and its impact on superimposed ice formation (SEBISUP)

Updated 2003-01-29

During the spring/summer transition, sea ice and snow properties change considerably in response to warming and the eventual reversal of temperature gradients within the snow and ice. Snow melt water percolates down towards the colder snow/ice interface, where it refreezes to form superimposed ice. On sea ice this process occurs probably longer and more intensive than on land, because throughout the summer the ice and underlying seawater is always colder than the snow. In Antarctica superimposed ice may actually form layers of some decimeters in thickness. The objective of this study is to investigate the main processes and boundary conditions for superimposed ice formation, in recognition of its importance for Antarctic sea ice, and its possible importance for Arctic sea ice in case of environmental changes due to future climate change. This will be performed by means of modeling as well as by combined measurements of the temporal evolution of snow and ice properties and the energy budget.

Time frame

Project time span
2002 - 2003
Data collection
2002 - 2002
Data processing
2002 - 2002
Data reporting
2002 - 2002

Contact information

Contact person
Christian Haas
Alfred Wegener Institute Foundation for Polar and Marine Research Bussestrasse 24 27570 Bremerhaven Germany
+49 471 4831 1128
+49 471 4831 1797
Other project contacts
Marcel Nicolaus

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

Radiation Data


Regions studied
Other areas
Stations or areas where observations are made

Western Coast of Gerdoya, Kongsfjorden (78.96N, 12.26E)

Data availability

References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports
Nicolaus, M., Haas, C., Bareiss, J.(2003). Observations of superimposed ice formation at melt-onset on fast ice on Kongsfjorden, Svalbard, Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

Department of Climatology, University of Trier, Faculty of Geography, Geosciences Trier, Germany Norsk Polarinstitutt, Norway

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