Coincident vortices in Antarctic wind fields and sea ice motion



[1] This study introduces a method to examine the coincidence of rotational ice drift and winds caused by the forcing of ice motion by Antarctic cyclones. Vortices are automatically detected using the algorithm of Murray and Simmonds (1991) from both ECMWF surface pressures and SSM/I sea ice motions. For compatibility with this algorithm sea ice motion vectors are transformed to a scalar stream function. During a seven-day test period positions of pressure minima and stream function maxima (SFM) of ice drift are within 300 km in 96% of the cases. Lowest pressure minima are related to highest stream function maxima. The results promise the method to provide a complementary tool of detecting and localizing low-pressure systems over sea ice, adding to numerical pressure analyses.