13 May 2024
 | 13 May 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Three-dimensional discrete element simulations on pressure ridge formation

Marek Muchow and Arttu Polojärvi

Abstract. This study presents the first three-dimensional discrete element method simulations on pressure ridge formation. Pressure ridges are an important feature of the sea-ice cover, as they contribute to the mechanical thickening of ice and likely limit the strength of sea ice in large scale. We validate the simulations against laboratory-scale experiments, confirming their accuracy in predicting ridging forces and ridge geometries. Then we demonstrate that Cauchy-Froude scaling applies for translating laboratory-scale results on ridging to full-scale scenarios. We show that non-simultaneous failure, where an ice sheet fails at distinct locations across the ridge length, is required for an accurate representation of the ridging process. This process cannot be described by two-dimensional simulations. We also find a linear relationship between the ridging forces and the ice thickness, contrasting with earlier results in the literature obtained by two-dimensional simulations.

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Marek Muchow and Arttu Polojärvi

Status: open (until 24 Jun 2024)

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Marek Muchow and Arttu Polojärvi
Marek Muchow and Arttu Polojärvi


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Short summary
We present the first explicit three-dimensional simulations of sea-ice ridge formation, which enables us to observe failure in several locations simultaneously. Sea-ice ridges are formed when ice converges and fails due to wind and ocean currents, so that broken ice accumulates in a ridge. Previous two-dimensional could not capture this behavior. We conclude that non-simultaneous failure is necessary to simulate ridging forces to assess how ridging forces relate to other ice properties.