Cryosphere research

Geophysics of the earth's cryosphere examines snow and ice on earth: atmospheric ice, seasonal snow cover, glaciers, lake ice and river ice, sea ice, and frozen ground. The Earth's frozen water has particular properties that motivates the education of glaciologists. It is the solid hexagonal phase of water at high homologous temperatures, where heat is transferred by molecular conduction, the crystals of ice are uniaxial, while mechanical behaviour is very complicated depending on the temperature, packing arrangement, and time-space scale of the system.

Cryosphere has been a main research topic in the Laboratory of Geophysics, involving in particular sea ice, seasonal snow cover and lake ice. Sea ice research covers the whole ice-covered ocean, with the main study region having been the Baltic Sea. The dynamics of sea ice has been examined by theoretical research and mathematical modelling, and detail structural and thermodynamic research has been based on field investigations in the Baltic and Okhotsk Seas. During the last five years PhD thesis have come out from our sea ice research. Seasonal snow cover work has been made in Finland and Antarctica, based on field investigations with snow pits for the structure and metamorphosis of the snow cover and snow cover classification. Lake ice research has grown in the last five years with the goal of producing a thermal-mechanical lake ice model for Finnish lakes to be used for research of ecology and climate of lakes.