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Wave attenuation in the marginal ice zone (PARAUEU20SF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Interactions between ocean waves and sea-ice are extremely complex. The interactions are essential to understanding sea-ice morphology, especially in the context of global warming [3]. Ocean waves are believed to have contributed to the massive ice reductions that have occurred in the summer Arctic sea-ice cover over the last 20 years.

Of great interest is the marginal ice zone (MIZ), which is the fragmented part of the ice cover closest to the open ocean and is a very dynamic region strongly affected by incoming ocean waves. To predict and explain ice interaction with ocean waves and structures, such as ships and platforms, linear and nonlinear mathematical models of wave propagation and wave scattering have been developed over the years, with the sea-ice normally being modelled as a compliant plate floating on water in which flexural-gravity waves are free to propagate. Discrete and continuous models of broken ice and ice floes are also available but less developed.

A review of the continuum (viscous or viscoelastic) models [2], [4] and separate-floe models [1] of waves in the MIZ will be undertaken. Models to study the rates of wave attenuation will constitute the basis for more advanced new models, to be developed during the PhD. Numerical codes will be developed to solve the partial differential equations which arise in this problem. Comparisons of the results with field data and experiments will be undertaken to assess the validity of the new models. The linear models of continuous and broken ice will be developed further to study interaction of waves and structures in the presence of ice.

For more information on the project’s supervisor, please visit:
Type of programme: PhD
Start date of project: October 2020
Mode of study: full time
Studentship length: 3 years self-funded. (3 year studentships have a (non-funded) 1 year ‘registration only’ period
Location: UEA
Entry requirements:
a) acceptable first degree in: Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Fluid Mechanics
b) The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


[1] P. Guyenne, E.I. Parau, Numerical study of solitary wave attenuation in a fragmented ice sheet, Phys. Rev. Fluids 2, 3 (2017) 034002.
[2] J. Keller, Gravity waves on ice-covered water, J. Geo. Res. 103 (1998) 7663–7669.
[3] A.L. Kohout, M.J.M. Williams, S.M. Dean, M.H. Meylan, Storm-induced sea-ice breakup and the implications for ice extent. Nature 509, (2014), 604-607.
[4] R. Wang, H.H. Shen, Gravity waves propagating into an ice-covered ocean: a viscoelastic model, J. Geophys. Res. 115, (2010), C06024.

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