Winter Sentinel-1 Backscatter as a Predictor of Spring Arctic Sea Ice Melt Pond Fraction


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Christian.Haas [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Spring melt pond fraction (fp) has been shown to influence September sea ice extent and, with a growing need to improve melt pond physics in climate and forecast models, observations at large spatial scales are needed. We present a novel technique for estimating fp on sea ice at high spatial resolution from the Sentinel-1 satellite during the winter period leading up to spring melt. A strong correlation (r = -0.85) is found between winter radar backscatter and fp from first-year and multiyear sea ice data collected in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) in 2015. Observations made in the CAA in 2016 are used to validate a fp retrieval algorithm, and a fp prediction for the CAA in 2017 is made. The method is effective using the horizontal transmit and receive polarization channel only and shows promise for providing seasonal, pan-Arctic, fp maps for improved understanding of melt pond distributions and forecast model skill.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
46087
DOI 10.1002/2017GL075547

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Scharien, R. K. , Segal, R. , Nasonova, S. , Nandan, V. , Howell, S. E. L. and Haas, C. (2017): Winter Sentinel-1 Backscatter as a Predictor of Spring Arctic Sea Ice Melt Pond Fraction , Geophysical Research Letters . doi: 10.1002/2017GL075547


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