With a distributed spring model for element contact physics and a solid boundary representing the stable land fast ice edge, we are able to reproduce the location and extent of arching leads. These leads form in tension and originate at promontories along the coastal boundary.
Figure 1: Ice arches forming at Point Barrow. Top shows an AVHRR thermal infrared satellite image. On bottom is the location of ice (light blue) simulated by Siku with wind forcing from the ECMWF ERA-Interim Reanalysis (arrows). Pink is the landfast ice minimum extent for April provided by Andy Mahoney, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Red is the coastline. Where the ice pack has failed under tension and opened is shown in dark blue. This result was achieved with an elastic-visco-plastic model ice element interaction, with a Young’s modulas of 0.8 GPa and global viscosity parameter 0.001. See the Siku model documentation for more information.