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High-resolution airborne observations of sea-ice pressure ridge sail height

  • K. Duncan (a1) (a2), S. L. Farrell (a1) (a2), L. N. Connor (a2), J. Richter-Menge (a3), J. K. Hutchings (a4) and R. Dominguez (a5)...
Abstract

Pressure ridges impact the mass, energy and momentum budgets of the sea-ice cover and present an obstacle to transportation through ice-infested waters. Quantifying ridge characteristics is important for understanding total sea-ice mass and for improving the representation of sea-ice dynamics in high-resolution models. Multi-sensor measurements collected during annual Operation IceBridge (OIB) airborne surveys of the Arctic provide new opportunities to assess the sea ice at the end of winter. We present a new methodology to derive ridge sail height from high-resolution OIB Digital Mapping System (DMS) visible imagery. We assess the efficacy of the methodology by mapping the full sail height distribution along 12 pressure ridges in the western and central Arctic. Comparisons against coincident Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) elevation anomalies are used to demonstrate the methodology and evaluate DMS-derived sail heights. Sail heights and elevation anomalies were correlated at 0.81 or above. On average mean and maximum sail height agreed with ATM elevation to within 0.11 and 0.49 m, respectively. Of the ridges mapped, mean sail height ranged from 0.99 to 2.16 m, while maximum sail height ranged from 2.1 to 4.8 m. DMS also delivered higher sampling along ridge crests than coincident ATM data.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-ncnd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.
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