Classification of CryoSat-2 Radar Echoes


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Robert.Ricker [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Sea-ice thickness at global scale is an important variable in the polar climate system. Only satellite altimeters such as onboard the CryoSat-2 mission allow us to obtain sea-ice thickness on hemispherical scale. Accurate CryoSat-2 altimeter range measurements provide surface elevations which have to be referenced to the local sea level to obtain sea-ice freeboard that can be converted into sea-ice thickness assuming hydrostatic equilibrium. The local sea-surface height is determined by careful detection of leads in the ice surface using the specific characteristics of the radar signal. Off-nadir reflections from leads can significantly affect the range retracking and hence bias the surface elevations of leads and sea ice. This can finally lead to a negative freeboard and hence also affects the thickness and volume retrieval. We present a method for the classification of CryoSat-2 radar echoes to correctly discriminate between valid and off-nadir biased echoes. We apply our classification to a CryoSat-2 track from December 15 where 50 leads over a distance of 2,300 km are identified. Overall 22 % of the surface elevations are associated with biased radar echoes.



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Inbook
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Peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Published
Eprint ID
37379
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-13865-7_17

Cite as
Ricker, R. , Hendricks, S. , Helm, V. and Gerdes, R. (2015): Classification of CryoSat-2 Radar Echoes / G. Lohmann ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2089-733X , H. Meggers , V. Unnithan , D. Wolf-Gladrow ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9531-8668 , J. Notholt and A. Bracher ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3025-5517 (editors) , In: Towards an Interdisciplinary Approach in Earth System Science, (Springer Earth System Sciences), Heidelberg [u.a.], Springer International Publishing, 251 p., ISBN: 978-3-319-13864-0 . doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-13865-7_17


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