We present a discrete-element method (DEM) model to simulate the mechanical behavior of sea ice in response to ocean waves. The interaction of ocean waves and sea ice potentially can lead to the fracture and fragmentation of sea ice depending on the wave amplitude and period. The fracture behavior of sea ice explicitly is modeled by a DEM method where sea ice is modeled by densely packed spherical particles with finite sizes. These particles are bonded together at their contact points through mechanical bonds that can sustain both tensile and compressive forces and moments. Fracturing naturally can be represented by the sequential breaking of mechanical bonds. For a given amplitude and period of incident ocean waves, the model provides information for the spatial distribution and time evolution of stress and microfractures and the fragment size distribution. We demonstrate that the fraction of broken bonds α increases with increasing wave amplitude. In contrast, the ice fragment size l decreases with increasing amplitude. This information is important for the understanding of the breakup of individual ice floes and floe fragment size.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics|
|State||Published - Jan 5 2012|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics