Science Service System

Summary of Proposal OCE0983

TitleInfluence of melt-freeze cycling and ice surface flooding on C- and X-band multipolarization signatures of snow covered Antarctic sea ice
Investigator Scharien, Randall - University of Manitoba, Centre for Earth Observation Science
Team Member
Dr. Barber, David - University of Manitoba, Centre for Earth Observation Science
Dr. Yackel, John - University of Calgary, Department of Geography
SummaryThis project evaluates the potential of multipolarization C- and X-band SAR for the extraction of geophysical and thermodynamic Antarctic sea ice information in support of large-scale satellite retrievals of snow and ice mass balance. Emphasis is placed on the influence of melt-freeze cycling and ice surface flooding events C- and X-band SAR multipolarization backscatter signatures, and evaluating the synergistic potential that multi-frequency SAR holds for improved Antarctic sea ice information extraction. Field data for this projectwill be acquired during the British Antarctic Survey (BAS)-led, ship-based, ICE-BELL research cruise in the Bellingshausen Sea from November 5-December 2, 2010. RADARSAT-2 (quad-pol) and TerraSAR-X data (StripMap) mode images will be acquired during the field research programme, coincident to direct measurements of snow and sea ice geophysical properties, C-bandpolarimetric scatterometer observations, and topographical measurementsat ice stations (~20) along a cruise track determined by the location of the ice edge. ScanSAR mode images will be obtained to provide general coverage over ice stations (i.e. for comparitive analyses). Field data will be used to initiate a multilayer microwave scattering model for estimating C- and X-band backscatter as a function of the changing geophysical and thermodynamic properties of snow covered ice types. Modeled estimates of C-band backscatter will be combined with polarimetric scatterometer measurements in order to elucidate the dominant radar-scale scattering mechanisms as a function of ice types and roughness classes. Multipolarization scattering coefficients and channel ratios from coincident RADARSAT-2 and TerraSAR-X data will be established, enabling empirical relationships between snow and ice geophysical and morphological properties, and scattering parameters, to be assessed. The synergistic potential of RADARSAT-2 and TerraSAR-X will be assessed by conducting knowledge-based ice type and ice condition classifications (e.g. roughness classes, flooded and non-flooded ice, etc.) and evaluating classification errors. Results from this project will be given in the form of contributions to the research literature, as presentations atappropriate meetings or conferences, and publications in high impact scientific journals. Funding for this project is provided by a CanadianNSERC Discovery Grant to D. Barber; Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Infrastructure Operating Funds (IOF) to D. Barber; and ICE-BELL in-kind support for field data collection.

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