Research topic: sea ice

Sea ice in the marginal ice zone of the Antarctica

In a yearly cycle in the Arctic region ice is forming and thawing away on a surface area of roughly 16 million km². This process has a massive impact on the global climate yet is not as thoroughly investigated as the corresponding process in the Arctic region. Therefore, the aim of this project is the characterization of sea ice in the Antarctic as to improve established and new climate models. Research is conducted during expeditions to the Antarctic as well as through experiments in the polar lab of our university.


As of now we have taken part in two expeditions to the marginal ice zone of the Antarctica on the South African research vessel SA Agulhas II.  Ice samples taken from ice floes, solid ice as well as so called “pancakes” were investigated right after collection. Among the investigated parameters are compressive strength, salt level and temperature. Based on these results an improvement of the numeric simulations of sea ice behavior is to be achieved.

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Polar laboratory

A polar laboratory has been built at the campus of the University Duisburg-Essen. The goal of this facility is to enable in-depth understanding of ice growth in the marginal ice zone of the Antarctica. For this a medium-sized container is repurposed as the measurement lab while a second, larger container is to be used as a wave tank.

The goal is to reproduce already collected data from the Antarctica expeditions and subsequently provide a mean for further investigation.

Ausgewählte Literatur zum Thema:

F. Paul, T. Mielke and D.C. Lupascu
Experimental setup to determine rheological properties of frazil ice
Rheologische Messungen an Baustoffen 2020, Page 75-84 (2020)


Doru C. Lupascu
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil.


Universitätsstrasse 15
45141 Essen
Tel.: +49 (0)201 183 2689
Fax: +49 (0)201 183 3968
Sekretariat: Raum V15 S05 D06