Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
Research article
22 Jun 2021
Research article |  | 22 Jun 2021

Implications of surface flooding on airborne estimates of snow depth on sea ice

Anja Rösel, Sinead Louise Farrell, Vishnu Nandan, Jaqueline Richter-Menge, Gunnar Spreen, Dmitry V. Divine, Adam Steer, Jean-Charles Gallet, and Sebastian Gerland

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Cited articles

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Barber, D. G. and Nghiem, S. V.: The role of snow on the thermal dependence of microwave backscatter over sea ice, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 104, 25789–25803, 1999. 
Beaven, S. G., Lockhart, G. L., Gogineni, S. P., Hossetnmostafa, A. R., Jezek, K., Gow, A. J., Perovich, D. K., Fung, A. K., and Tjuatja, S.: Laboratory measurements of radar backscatter from bare and snow-covered saline ice sheets, Int. J. Remote Sens., 16, 851–876, 1995. 
Dominguez, R.: Icebridge DMS L1B geolocated and orthorectified images, (IODMS1B), Boulder, Colorado USA. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center., 2010, updated 2018. 
Drinkwater, M. R. and Crocker, G.: Modelling Changes in Scattering Properties of the Dielectric and Young Snow-Covered Sea Ice at GHz Frequencies, J. Glaciol., 34, 274–282, 1988. 
Short summary
Recent observations in the Arctic suggest a significant shift towards a snow–ice regime caused by deep snow on thin sea ice which may result in a flooding of the snowpack. These conditions cause the brine wicking and saturation of the basal snow layers which lead to a subsequent underestimation of snow depth from snow radar mesurements. As a consequence the calculated sea ice thickness will be biased towards higher values.