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Attenuation and directional spreading of ocean wave spectra in the marginal ice zone

  • Fabien Montiel (a1), V. A. Squire (a1) and L. G. Bennetts (a2)


A theoretical model is used to study wave energy attenuation and directional spreading of ocean wave spectra in the marginal ice zone (MIZ). The MIZ is constructed as an array of tens of thousands of compliant circular ice floes, with randomly selected positions and radii determined by an empirical floe size distribution. Linear potential flow and thin elastic plate theories model the coupled water–ice system. A new method is proposed to solve the time-harmonic multiple scattering problem under a multidirectional incident wave forcing with random phases. It provides a natural framework for tracking the evolution of the directional properties of a wave field through the MIZ. The attenuation and directional spreading are extracted from ensembles of the wave field with respect to realizations of the MIZ and incident forcing randomly generated from prescribed distributions. The averaging procedure is shown to converge rapidly so that only a small number of simulations need to be performed. Far-field approximations are investigated, allowing efficiency improvements with negligible loss of accuracy. A case study is conducted for a particular MIZ configuration. The observed exponential attenuation of wave energy through the MIZ is reproduced by the model, while the directional spread is found to grow linearly with distance. The directional spreading is shown to weaken when the wavelength becomes larger than the maximum floe size.


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Attenuation and directional spreading of ocean wave spectra in the marginal ice zone

  • Fabien Montiel (a1), V. A. Squire (a1) and L. G. Bennetts (a2)


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