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2018WCRPspon col July2018 01 1

SAdams- The observation of the thin-ice thickness distribution within the Laptev Sea polynya using MODIS data


Polynyas are of high research interest since these features are areas of extensive new ice
formation. The calculation of accurate ice-production values requires the knowledge of
polynya area and thin-ice thickness distribution. These two variables can be derived by
remote sensing data. However, a cross-validation study of various remote sensing data sets
indicates that the spatial resolution issue is essential for the retrieval of accurate thin-ice
thickness distribution. Thus, high-resolution remote sensing data must be used. MODIS
thermal-infrared data with a spatial resolution of 1 km × 1 km is appropriate for the retrieval
of thin-ice thickness distribution within the polynya.

The algorithm to derive thermal-infrared thin-ice thickness is improved to state-of-the-art
parameterizations. The mean absolute error of thin-ice thickness is ±4.7 cm for ice below 20
cm of thickness. The thin-ice thickness maps lack full coverage due to the restriction of the
algorithm to cloud-free and nighttime data. Therefore, a compositing method is applied to
compute daily thin-ice thickness maps. These maps cover on average 70 % of the Laptev Sea

In order to fill the remaining gaps a combined remote sensing – model approach is developed
to provide a consistent time series of high-resolution thin-ice thickness maps. This data set is
valuable for the retrieval of accurate ice production within polynyas.

Authors: S. Adams, S. Willmes, D. Schröder, G. Heinemann

ESA Conference on Earth Observation and Cryospheric Science, Frascati, Italy, November 13-16, 2012

(Media / 2012-Boundary-Layer-Workshop-Report)
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