Sea Ice Group at the Geophysical Institute logo1
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Heike Merkel

MS candidate in Snow, Ice and Permafrost Geophysics

MS candidate in Snow, Ice and Permafrost Geophysics - My research project pertains to the microstructure of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. It is part of the Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions (SBI) program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The main objective of my part is to investigate the influence of geophysical sea ice properties, such as brine channel connectivity, on the growth of ice algae. To accomplish this I am building a permeameter which will enable me to measure permeabilities of sea ice samples that were taken in the field in Barrow, Alaska and during an ice breaker expedition during the past 2 field seasons. I am also measuring under-ice currents to gain insight into nutrient dynamics and their specific influence on the development of ice algae in the spring.