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On the accuracy of thin-ice thickness retrieval using MODIS thermal imagery over Arctic first-year ice

  • Marko Mäkynen (a1), Bin Cheng (a1) and Markku Similä (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

We have studied the accuracy of ice thickness (hi) retrieval based on night-time MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) ice surface temperature (Ts) images and HIRLAM (High Resolution Limited Area Model) weather forcing data from the Arctic. The study area is the Kara Sea and eastern part of the Barents Sea, and the study period spans November-April 2008–11 with 199 hi charts. For cloud masking of the MODIS data we had to use manual methods in order to improve detection of thin clouds and ice fog. The accuracy analysis of the retrieved hi was conducted with different methods, taking into account the inaccuracy of the HIRLAM weather forcing data. Maximum reliable hi under different air-temperature and wind-speed ranges was 35–50 cm under typical weather conditions (air temperature <–20cC, wind speed <5ms–1) present in the MODIS data. The accuracy is best for the 15–30 cm thickness range, ∼38%. The largest hi uncertainty comes from air temperature data. Our ice-thickness limits are more conservative than those in previous studies where numerical weather prediction model data were not used in the hi retrieval. Our study gives new detailed insight into the capability of Ts-based hi retrieval in the Arctic marginal seas during freeze-up and wintertime, and should also benefit work where MODIS hi charts are used.

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References
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Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
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