Science Service System

Summary of Proposal OCE0023

TitleUse of TerraSAR X-band data for sea ice snow melt timing and snow water equivalent mapping
Investigator Yackel, John - University of Calgary, Geography
Team Members
Professor Barber, David - University of Manitoba, Environment and Geography
Dr. De Abreu, Roger - Canadian Ice Services, Environment Canada
Mr. Geldsetzer, Torsten - University of Calgary, Geography
SummaryThe objectives of this project proposal are to; 1) Explore the potential of dual frequency (TerraSAR X-band and ENVISAT ASAR and RADARSAT-2 C-band) SAR data for providing improved estimates of melt onset timing and snow water equivalent on first-year sea ice; and 2) examine the spatial and temporal variability of these parameters utilizing an image fusion and in situ (empirical) data collection approach. Our field methods will involve collecting surface and energy balance data from a micrometeorological tower established at a on-ice time series sea ice site near to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada as part of our Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)funded ArcticNET program. We will select and visit numerous field sites on snow covered first-year sea ice to collect a statistical distribution of snow thickness classes at numerous times during the winter to spring transition. During this time, we will make bi-daily measurements of snow wetness, thickness, density, salinity (brine volume) and grain size from a single time series site. Time series C-band SAR imagery (from both ENVISAT ASAR and RADARSAT-2) will be acquired coincident to investigate the utility of C and X band microwave penetration depth modelling. Our time series methodology requires that we acquire between 20 to 25 TerraSAR dual-pol Spotlight images during the winter to spring transition period (typically March 15 through May 15). This amount will provide adequate temporal resolution for melt onset timing and compare favorably with our C-band SAR time series datasets. Our deliverables will be achieved through a variety of peer reviewed publications and conference presentations that will stem from the use of TerraSAR data.

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