Articles | Volume 17, issue 6
Research article
02 Jun 2023
Research article |  | 02 Jun 2023

Wind redistribution of snow impacts the Ka- and Ku-band radar signatures of Arctic sea ice

Vishnu Nandan, Rosemary Willatt, Robbie Mallett, Julienne Stroeve, Torsten Geldsetzer, Randall Scharien, Rasmus Tonboe, John Yackel, Jack Landy, David Clemens-Sewall, Arttu Jutila, David N. Wagner, Daniela Krampe, Marcus Huntemann, Mallik Mahmud, David Jensen, Thomas Newman, Stefan Hendricks, Gunnar Spreen, Amy Macfarlane, Martin Schneebeli, James Mead, Robert Ricker, Michael Gallagher, Claude Duguay, Ian Raphael, Chris Polashenski, Michel Tsamados, Ilkka Matero, and Mario Hoppmann

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Cited articles

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Armitage, T. W. and Ridout, A. L.: Arctic sea ice freeboard from AltiKa and comparison with CryoSat-2 and Operation IceBridge, Geophy. Res. Lett., 42, 6724–6731,, 2015. 
Clemens-Sewall, D., Parno, M., Perovich, D., Polashenski, C., and Raphael, I. A.: FlakeOut: A geometric approach to remove wind-blown snow from terrestrial laser scans, Cold Reg. Sci. Tech., 201, 103611,, 2022. 
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Cox, C., Gallagher, M., Shupe, M., Persson, O., and Solomon, A.: 10-meter (m) meteorological flux tower measurements (Level 1 Raw), Multidisciplinary Drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC), central Arctic, October 2019–September 2020, Arctic Data Center,, 2021. 
Short summary
We show that wind redistributes snow on Arctic sea ice, and Ka- and Ku-band radar measurements detect both newly deposited snow and buried snow layers that can affect the accuracy of snow depth estimates on sea ice. Radar, laser, meteorological, and snow data were collected during the MOSAiC expedition. With frequent occurrence of storms in the Arctic, our results show that wind-redistributed snow needs to be accounted for to improve snow depth estimates on sea ice from satellite radars.