Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Research article
12 Apr 2019
Research article |  | 12 Apr 2019

Assessment of contemporary satellite sea ice thickness products for Arctic sea ice

Heidi Sallila, Sinéad Louise Farrell, Joshua McCurry, and Eero Rinne

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Cited articles

Allard, R. A., Farrell, S. L., Hebert, D. H., Johnston, W. F., Li, L., Kurtz, N. T., Phelps, M. W., Posey, P. G., Tilling, R., Ridout, A., and Wallcraft, A. L.: Utilizing CryoSat-2 sea ice thickness to initialize a coupled ice-ocean modeling system, Adv. Space Res., 62, 1265–1280,, 2018. 
Armitage, T. W. K and Ridout, A. L.: Arctic sea ice freeboard from AltiKa and comparison with CryoSat-2 and Operation IceBridge, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 6724–6731,, 2015. 
Belward, A. and Dowell, M. (Eds.): The Global Observing System for Climate (GCOS): Implementation Needs, GCOS 2016 Implementation Plan, Global Ocean Observing System Report (GCOS 200, GOOS 214), World Meteorological Organisation, 341, available at: (last access: November 2018), 2016. 
Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, E., Farrell, S., Newman, T., and Bitz, C.: Snow cover on Arctic sea ice in observations and an Earth system model, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 10342–10348., 2015. 
Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, E., Webster, M. A., Farrell, S. L., and Bitz, C. M.: Reconstruction of Snow on Arctic Sea Ice, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 123, 3588–3602,, 2018. 
Short summary
We assess 8 years of sea ice thickness observations derived from measurements of CryoSat-2 (CS2), AVHRR and SMOS satellites, collating key details of primary interest to users. We find a number of differences among data products but find that CS2 measurements are reliable for sea ice thickness, particularly between ~ 0.5 and 4 m. Regional comparisons reveal noticeable differences in ice thickness between products, particularly in the marginal seas in areas of considerable ship traffic.