Effects of surface roughness on sea ice freeboard retrieval with an Airborne Ku-Band SAR radar altimeter

Stefan Hendricks, Lars Stenseng, Veit Helm, Christian Haas

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Abstract

Results from two years of the CryoSat Validation Experiment (CryoVEx) over sea ice in the western Arctic Ocean are presented. The estimation of freeboard, the height of sea ice floating above the water level, is one the main goals of the CryoSat-2 mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to investigate sea ice volume changes on an Arctic wide scale. Freeboard retrieval requires precise radar range measurements to the ice surface, therefore we investigate the penetration of the Ku-Band radar waves into the overlying snow cover as well as the effects of sub-footprint-scale surface roughness using airborne radar and laser altimeters. We find regional variable penetration of the radar signal at late spring conditions, where the difference of the radar and the reference laser range measurement never agrees with the expected snow thickness. In addition, a rough surface can lead to biases of the airborne validation dataset, since the radar overestimates the amount of open water and thin ice as well the freeboard of heavy ice deformation zones.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium proceedings
PublisherIEEE
Publication date2010
Pages3126-3129
ISBN (Print)9781424495658
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event30th International Geoscience and Remote Sensing symposium - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: 25 Jul 201030 Jul 2010
Conference number: 30
http://www.igarss2010.org/

Conference

Conference30th International Geoscience and Remote Sensing symposium
Number30
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu, HI
Period25/07/201030/07/2010
Internet address

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • Sea ice
  • Synthetic aperture radar
  • Snow
  • Radar altimetry

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