Fritsen, C. H. Desert Research Institute, cfritsen@dri.edu
Adams, E. H. Montana State University, eda@ce.montana.edu
Edens, M. Q. Montana State University, mike@frosty.oscs.montana.edu
Priscu, J. C. Montana State University, ubifc@montana.edu

 
LIGHT-FOCUSING IN ASSOCIATION WITH SMALL-SCALE STRUCTURES IN FRESHWATER AND SALINE ICE COVERS
 
Radiative energy transfer within freshwater and saline ice covers influences heat and mass balance processes, liquid water availability as well as photoautotrophic processes. We have recently been evaluating small-scale (cm to m) physical structures within sea ice and freshwater ice covers to determine if they are conducive for enhancing localized trapping or focusing of radiant energy. First-order evaluations of brine drainage networks in sea ice indicates that brine-filled tubes are not highly conducive for light trapping or focusing, even though enhanced irradiances are often observed in association with these structures. Rather, enhanced light-levels and transmission are primarily due to the absence of ice and associated pigmented microalgae. Vapor-filled cylindrical tubes in freshwater ice covers have more of a capacity for light focusing and are thought to enhance localized fluxes of radiant energy. Radiative energy transfer, heat dissipation and microalgal photometabolism processes will have to be evaluated at proper scales to determine if such enhanced irradiance regimes have appreciable consequences for either small-scale or wide-spread physical or biological processes.
 
Day: Tuesday, Feb. 2
Time: Poster
Location: Sweeney Center
 
Code: SS27TU0869S