Turbulence measurements in the underice boundary layer from two Arctic drift stations are used to develop a method for estimating the small-scale roughness, zo, of the ice underside from horizontal current and current variance, sampled at one level. Horizontal variance is shown to be well correlated with turbulent kinetic energy (TKE). Measurements also indicate that at depths where turbulence is fully developed to the surface roughness, shear production of TKE is approximately in balance with viscous dissipation, so that the magnitude of local horizontal stress is proportional to flow variance. A similarity model is used to extrapolate local stress to the interface, and zo is estimated from the logarithmic profile for current speed. The method has application for using remote data buoys, equipped with “smart” current meters, for mapping the underice roughness.

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