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Summary of Proposal OCE1837

TitleWave Processes in Arctic Seas – Observations from TerraSAR-X
Investigator Gemmrich, Johannes - University of Victoria, Physics and Astronomy
Team Member
Dr. Lehner, Susanne - German Aerospace Center, Remote Sensing Technology Institute
Dr. Pleskachevsky, Andrey - German Aerospace Center, Remote Sensing Technology Institute
SummaryThe reduction of the sea ice coverage during the boreal summer will lead to an increased importance of wind waves for the dynamic processes of the Arctic Seas. The large ice free areas lead to longer fetch and thus longer and higher sea state. Wind waves will enhance upper ocean mixing, may affect the breakup of landfast ice, and will likely lead to increased coastal erosion. The physics affecting the wave development in the marginal ice zone are not well understood and thus are currently not adequately included in wave model parameterizations. Observations of the wave field with a high spatial and temporal coverage are therefore needed to improve our understanding of emerging wave related issues in the Arctic. The TerraSAR-X satellite has been shown to provide wind and sea state parameters to a high accuracy. While TerraSAR-X data have been used to investigate the highly variable wave climate in coastal areas, the use of these data at the sea ice boundary is still to be utilized in full detail. In addition, TerraSAR-X data provide accurate estimates of the wind field over the ocean as well as the position (and change) of the ice edge and ice drift estimates. The main objectives of the proposed work are to adapt existing TerraSAR-X wave parameter and ice motion retrieval algorithms for the marginal ice zone in order to: * analyze the spatial and temporal variability of the wave field in the emerging ice-free regions * investigate wave damping in sea ice and the related ice breakup; * test/develop formulae of wave development (such as fetch laws) for the marginal ice zone; The PI and scientists at DLR are partners in a common sub-project of the multi-institutional research initiative “Sea State and Boundary Layer Physics of the Emerging Arctic Ocean” funded by the US Office of Naval Research. The project period is January 2013 to Nov 2017. One or two intensive field campaigns are expected for 2014/2015, where a suite of wave, wind and ice parameters will be measured in-situ. These data will be available for the verification of the remote sensing products. We will require a total of 230 images, spanning a range of different products of TerraSAR-X to explore the optimal data configuration. Results will be presented at international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.

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