The deterioration of floating ice covers is analyzed to determine under what conditions the ice cover loses strength due to internal melting. The analysis considers the interaction between sensible heat transfer and long wave radiation loss at the surface, the surface albedo, the short wave radiation penetration and absorption and the unsteady heat conduction within the ice. The thermal analysis then leads to a determination of the porosity of the ice that allows strength analysis to be made using beam-type analyses. The results provide criteria to determine when and how rapidly the ice cover loses strength and under what conditions it will regain the original strength associated with an ice cover of full integrity.

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