Articles | Volume 7, issue 6
The Cryosphere, 7, 1693–1705, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Special issue: Earth observation of the Cryosphere
Research article 07 Nov 2013
Research article | 07 Nov 2013
Comparison of feature based segmentation of full polarimetric SAR satellite sea ice images with manually drawn ice charts
M. -A. N. Moen et al.
No articles found.
Wenkai Guo, Polona Itkin, Johannes Lohse, Malin Johansson, and Anthony Paul Doulgeris
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Preprint under review for TCShort summary
This study uses radar satellite data categorized to different sea ice types to detect ice deformation, which is significant for climate science and ship navigation. For this, we examine radar signal differences of sea ice between two similar satellite sensors, and show an optimal way to apply cateogrization methods across sensors, so more data can be used for this purpose. This study provides a basis for future reliable and constant detection of ice deformation remotely through satellite data.
Ane S. Fors, Dmitry V. Divine, Anthony P. Doulgeris, Angelika H. H. Renner, and Sebastian Gerland
The Cryosphere, 11, 755–771,Short summary
This paper investigates the signature of melt ponds in satellite-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery. A comparison between helicopter-borne images of drifting first-year ice and polarimetric X-band SAR images shows relations between observed melt pond fraction and several polarimetric SAR features. Melt ponds strongly influence the Arctic sea ice energy budget, and the results imply prospective opportunities for expanded monitoring of melt ponds from space.
Ane S. Fors, Camilla Brekke, Anthony P. Doulgeris, Torbjørn Eltoft, Angelika H. H. Renner, and Sebastian Gerland
The Cryosphere, 10, 401–415,Short summary
This paper demonstrates how sea ice segmentation using high-resolution multi-polarisation synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can be used to retrieve valuable information about sea ice type during late summer. It adds knowledge to how choice of SAR features influence the information gain and highlights the sea ice segmentation capability of both the C and X band in late summer. The study contributes to an increased understanding of sea ice mapping and monitoring with SAR in the melt season.
D. V. Divine, M. A. Granskog, S. R. Hudson, C. A. Pedersen, T. I. Karlsen, S. A. Divina, A. H. H. Renner, and S. Gerland
The Cryosphere, 9, 255–268,Short summary
Regional melt pond coverage and albedo of thin (70-90cm) first year Arctic sea ice in advanced stage of melt was estimated from a combination of low-altitude imagery and in situ measurements north of Svalbard in summer 2012. The study revealed a homogeneous melt across the study area with a typical pond fraction of 0.29 and sea-ice albedo of 0.44. A decrease in pond fraction was, however, observed in the 30km marginal ice zone, occurring in parallel with an increase in open-water coverage.
T. Vihma, R. Pirazzini, I. Fer, I. A. Renfrew, J. Sedlar, M. Tjernström, C. Lüpkes, T. Nygård, D. Notz, J. Weiss, D. Marsan, B. Cheng, G. Birnbaum, S. Gerland, D. Chechin, and J. C. Gascard
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 9403–9450,
Related subject area
Remote SensingA lead-width distribution for Antarctic sea ice: a case study for the Weddell Sea with high-resolution Sentinel-2 imagesMapping seasonal glacier melt across the Hindu Kush Himalaya with time series synthetic aperture radar (SAR)Estimating surface mass balance patterns from unoccupied aerial vehicle measurements in the ablation area of the Morteratsch–Pers glacier complex (Switzerland)High-resolution topography of the Antarctic Peninsula combining the TanDEM-X DEM and Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica (REMA) mosaicPenetration of interferometric radar signals in Antarctic snowEvaluation of snow extent time series derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer global area coverage data (1982–2018) in the Hindu Kush HimalayasMeasuring the state and temporal evolution of glaciers in Alaska and Yukon using synthetic-aperture-radar-derived (SAR-derived) 3D time series of glacier surface flowSatellite altimetry detection of ice-shelf-influenced fast iceMOSAiC drift expedition from October 2019 to July 2020: sea ice conditions from space and comparison with previous yearsTracking changes in the area, thickness, and volume of the Thwaites tabular iceberg “B30” using satellite altimetry and imageryAnalyzing glacier retreat and mass balances using aerial and UAV photogrammetry in the Ötztal Alps, AustriaTowards a swath-to-swath sea-ice drift product for the Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer missionSpaceborne infrared imagery for early detection of Weddell Polynya openingSurges of Harald Moltke Bræ, north-western Greenland: seasonal modulation and initiation at the terminusBrief communication: Ice sheet elevation measurements from the Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B tandem phaseEstimating instantaneous sea-ice dynamics from space using the bi-static radar measurements of Earth Explorer 10 candidate HarmonyDeriving Arctic 2 m air temperatures over snow and ice from satellite surface temperature measurementsImpact of dynamic snow density on GlobSnow snow water equivalent retrieval accuracyEstimating subpixel turbulent heat flux over leads from MODIS thermal infrared imagery with deep learningThe retrieval of snow properties from SLSTR Sentinel-3 – Part 1: Method description and sensitivity studyThe retrieval of snow properties from SLSTR Sentinel-3 – Part 2: Results and validationAn improved sea ice detection algorithm using MODIS: application as a new European sea ice extent indicatorBrief communication: An empirical relation between center frequency and measured thickness for radar sounding of temperate glaciersFaster decline and higher variability in the sea ice thickness of the marginal Arctic seas when accounting for dynamic snow coverEstimation of degree of sea ice ridging in the Bay of Bothnia based on geolocated photon heights from ICESat-2Impacts of snow data and processing methods on the interpretation of long-term changes in Baffin Bay sea ice thicknessSemi-automated tracking of iceberg B43 using Sentinel-1 SAR images via Google Earth EngineBrief Communication: Detection of glacier surge activity using cloud computing of Sentinel-1 radar dataTree canopy and snow depth relationships at fine scales with terrestrial laser scanningLinking sea ice deformation to ice thickness redistribution using high-resolution satellite and airborne observationsGlacier Image Velocimetry: an open-source toolbox for easy and rapid calculation of high-resolution glacier velocity fieldsTop-of-permafrost ground ice indicated by remotely sensed late-season subsidenceMapping potential signs of gas emissions in ice of Lake Neyto, Yamal, Russia, using synthetic aperture radar and multispectral remote sensing dataSimulated Ka- and Ku-band radar altimeter height and freeboard estimation on snow-covered Arctic sea iceCalving Front Machine (CALFIN): glacial termini dataset and automated deep learning extraction method for Greenland, 1972–2019Improved machine-learning-based open-water–sea-ice–cloud discrimination over wintertime Antarctic sea ice using MODIS thermal-infrared imagerySnow depth mapping with unpiloted aerial system lidar observations: a case study in Durham, New Hampshire, United StatesBrief communication: Glacier run-off estimation using altimetry-derived basin volume change: case study at Humboldt Glacier, northwest GreenlandInventory and changes of rock glacier creep speeds in Ile Alatau and Kungöy Ala-Too, northern Tien Shan, since the 1950sMapping avalanches with satellites – evaluation of performance and completenessEstimating fractional snow cover from passive microwave brightness temperature data using MODIS snow cover product over North AmericaAnnual and inter-annual variability and trends of albedo of Icelandic glaciersObserving traveling waves in glaciers with remote sensing: new flexible time series methods and application to Sermeq Kujalleq (Jakobshavn Isbræ), GreenlandSnow depth time series retrieval by time-lapse photography: Finnish and Italian case studiesSurface composition of debris-covered glaciers across the Himalaya using spectral unmixing and multi-sensor imageryIntercomparison of photogrammetric platforms for spatially continuous snow depth mappingSpring melt pond fraction in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago predicted from RADARSAT-2Detecting seasonal ice dynamics in satellite imagesInSAR-based characterization of rock glacier movement in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USAThe catastrophic thermokarst lake drainage events of 2018 in northwestern Alaska: fast-forward into the future
Marek Muchow, Amelie U. Schmitt, and Lars Kaleschke
The Cryosphere, 15, 4527–4537,Short summary
Linear-like openings in sea ice, also called leads, occur with widths from meters to kilometers. We use satellite images from Sentinel-2 with a resolution of 10 m to identify leads and measure their widths. With that we investigate the frequency of lead widths using two different statistical methods, since other studies have shown a dependency of heat exchange on the lead width. We are the first to address the sea-ice lead-width distribution in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica.
Corey Scher, Nicholas C. Steiner, and Kyle C. McDonald
The Cryosphere, 15, 4465–4482,Short summary
Time series synthetic aperture radar enables detection of seasonal reach-scale glacier surface melting across continents, a key component of surface energy balance for mountain glaciers. We observe melting across all areas of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) cryosphere. Surface melting for the HKH lasts for close to 5 months per year on average and for just below 2 months at elevations exceeding 7000 m a.s.l. Further, there are indications that melting is more than superficial at high elevations.
Lander Van Tricht, Philippe Huybrechts, Jonas Van Breedam, Alexander Vanhulle, Kristof Van Oost, and Harry Zekollari
The Cryosphere, 15, 4445–4464,Short summary
We conducted innovative research on the use of drones to determine the surface mass balance (SMB) of two glaciers. Considering appropriate spatial scales, we succeeded in determining the SMB in the ablation area with large accuracy. Consequently, we are convinced that our method and the use of drones to monitor the mass balance of a glacier’s ablation area can be an add-on to stake measurements in order to obtain a broader picture of the heterogeneity of the SMB of glaciers.
Yuting Dong, Ji Zhao, Dana Floricioiu, Lukas Krieger, Thomas Fritz, and Michael Eineder
The Cryosphere, 15, 4421–4443,Short summary
We generated a consistent, gapless and high-resolution (12 m) topography product of the Antarctic Peninsula by combining the complementary advantages of the two most recent high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) products: the TanDEM-X DEM and the Reference Elevation Model of Antarctica. The generated DEM maintains the characteristics of the TanDEM-X DEM, has a better quality due to the correction of the residual height errors in the non-edited TanDEM-X DEM and will be freely available.
Helmut Rott, Stefan Scheiblauer, Jan Wuite, Lukas Krieger, Dana Floricioiu, Paola Rizzoli, Ludivine Libert, and Thomas Nagler
The Cryosphere, 15, 4399–4419,Short summary
We studied relations between interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) signals and snow–firn properties and tested procedures for correcting the penetration bias of InSAR digital elevation models at Union Glacier, Antarctica. The work is based on SAR data of the TanDEM-X mission, topographic data from optical sensors and field measurements. We provide new insights on radar signal interactions with polar snow and show the performance of penetration bias retrievals using InSAR coherence.
Xiaodan Wu, Kathrin Naegeli, Valentina Premier, Carlo Marin, Dujuan Ma, Jingping Wang, and Stefan Wunderle
The Cryosphere, 15, 4261–4279,Short summary
We performed a comprehensive accuracy assessment of an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer global area coverage snow-cover extent time series dataset for the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. The sensor-to-sensor consistency, the accuracy related to snow depth, elevations, land-cover types, slope, and aspects, and topographical variability were also explored. Our analysis shows an overall accuracy of 94 % in comparison with in situ station data, which is the same with MOD10A1 V006.
Sergey Samsonov, Kristy Tiampo, and Ryan Cassotto
The Cryosphere, 15, 4221–4239,Short summary
The direction and intensity of glacier surface flow adjust in response to a warming climate, causing sea level rise, seasonal flooding and droughts, and changing landscapes and habitats. We developed a technique that measures the evolution of surface flow for a glaciated region in three dimensions with high temporal and spatial resolution and used it to map the temporal evolution of glaciers in southeastern Alaska (Agassiz, Seward, Malaspina, Klutlan, Walsh, and Kluane) during 2016–2021.
Gemma M. Brett, Daniel Price, Wolfgang Rack, and Patricia J. Langhorne
The Cryosphere, 15, 4099–4115,Short summary
Ice shelf meltwater in the surface ocean affects sea ice formation, causing it to be thicker and, in particular conditions, to have a loose mass of platelet ice crystals called a sub‐ice platelet layer beneath. This causes the sea ice freeboard to stand higher above sea level. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time that the signature of ice shelf meltwater in the surface ocean manifesting as higher sea ice freeboard in McMurdo Sound is detectable from space using satellite technology.
Thomas Krumpen, Luisa von Albedyll, Helge F. Goessling, Stefan Hendricks, Bennet Juhls, Gunnar Spreen, Sascha Willmes, H. Jakob Belter, Klaus Dethloff, Christian Haas, Lars Kaleschke, Christian Katlein, Xiangshan Tian-Kunze, Robert Ricker, Philip Rostosky, Janna Rückert, Suman Singha, and Julia Sokolova
The Cryosphere, 15, 3897–3920,Short summary
We use satellite data records collected along the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) drift to categorize ice conditions that shaped and characterized the floe and surroundings during the expedition. A comparison with previous years is made whenever possible. The aim of this analysis is to provide a basis and reference for subsequent research in the six main research areas of atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, biogeochemistry, remote sensing and ecology.
Anne Braakmann-Folgmann, Andrew Shepherd, and Andy Ridout
The Cryosphere, 15, 3861–3876,Short summary
We investigate the disintegration of the B30 iceberg using satellite remote sensing and find that the iceberg lost 378 km3 of ice in 6.5 years, corresponding to 80 % of its initial volume. About two thirds are due to fragmentation at the sides, and one third is due to melting at the iceberg’s base. The release of fresh water and nutrients impacts ocean circulation, sea ice formation, and biological production. We show that adding a snow layer is important when deriving iceberg thickness.
Joschka Geissler, Christoph Mayer, Juilson Jubanski, Ulrich Münzer, and Florian Siegert
The Cryosphere, 15, 3699–3717,Short summary
The study demonstrates the potential of photogrammetry for analyzing glacier retreat with high spatial resolution. Twenty-three glaciers within the Ötztal Alps are analyzed. We compare photogrammetric and glaciologic mass balances of the Vernagtferner by using the ELA for our density assumption and an UAV survey for a temporal correction of the geodetic mass balances. The results reveal regions of anomalous mass balance and allow estimates of the imbalance between mass balances and ice dynamics.
Thomas Lavergne, Montserrat Piñol Solé, Emily Down, and Craig Donlon
The Cryosphere, 15, 3681–3698,Short summary
Pushed by winds and ocean currents, polar sea ice is on the move. We use passive microwave satellites to observe this motion. The images from their orbits are often put together into daily images before motion is measured. In our study, we measure motion from the individual orbits directly and not from the daily images. We obtain many more motion vectors, and they are more accurate. This can be used for current and future satellites, e.g. the Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR).
Céline Heuzé, Lu Zhou, Martin Mohrmann, and Adriano Lemos
The Cryosphere, 15, 3401–3421,Short summary
For navigation or science planning, knowing when sea ice will open in advance is a prerequisite. Yet, to date, routine spaceborne microwave observations of sea ice are unable to do so. We present the first method based on spaceborne infrared that can forecast an opening several days ahead. We develop it specifically for the Weddell Polynya, a large hole in the Antarctic winter ice cover that unexpectedly re-opened for the first time in 40 years in 2016, and determine why the polynya opened.
Lukas Müller, Martin Horwath, Mirko Scheinert, Christoph Mayer, Benjamin Ebermann, Dana Floricioiu, Lukas Krieger, Ralf Rosenau, and Saurabh Vijay
The Cryosphere, 15, 3355–3375,Short summary
Harald Moltke Bræ, a marine-terminating glacier in north-western Greenland, undergoes remarkable surges of episodic character. Our data show that a recent surge from 2013 to 2019 was initiated at the glacier front and exhibits a pronounced seasonality with flow velocities varying by 1 order of magnitude, which has not been observed at Harald Moltke Bræ in this way before. These findings are crucial for understanding surge mechanisms at Harald Moltke Bræ and other marine-terminating glaciers.
Malcolm McMillan, Alan Muir, and Craig Donlon
The Cryosphere, 15, 3129–3134,Short summary
We evaluate the consistency of ice sheet elevation measurements made by two satellites: Sentinel-3A and Sentinel-3B. We analysed data from the unique
tandemphase of the mission, where the two satellites flew 30 s apart to provide near-instantaneous measurements of Earth's surface. Analysing these data over Antarctica, we find no significant difference between the satellites, which is important for demonstrating that they can be used interchangeably for long-term ice sheet monitoring.
Marcel Kleinherenbrink, Anton Korosov, Thomas Newman, Andreas Theodosiou, Alexander S. Komarov, Yuanhao Li, Gert Mulder, Pierre Rampal, Julienne Stroeve, and Paco Lopez-Dekker
The Cryosphere, 15, 3101–3118,Short summary
Harmony is one of the Earth Explorer 10 candidates that has the chance of being selected for launch in 2028. The mission consists of two satellites that fly in formation with Sentinel-1D, which carries a side-looking radar system. By receiving Sentinel-1's signals reflected from the surface, Harmony is able to observe instantaneous elevation and two-dimensional velocity at the surface. As such, Harmony's data allow the retrieval of sea-ice drift and wave spectra in sea-ice-covered regions.
Pia Nielsen-Englyst, Jacob L. Høyer, Kristine S. Madsen, Rasmus T. Tonboe, Gorm Dybkjær, and Sotirios Skarpalezos
The Cryosphere, 15, 3035–3057,Short summary
The Arctic region is responding heavily to climate change, and yet, the air temperature of Arctic ice-covered areas is heavily under-sampled when it comes to in situ measurements. This paper presents a method for estimating daily mean 2 m air temperatures (T2m) in the Arctic from satellite observations of skin temperature, providing spatially detailed observations of the Arctic. The satellite-derived T2m product covers clear-sky snow and ice surfaces in the Arctic for the period 2000–2009.
Pinja Venäläinen, Kari Luojus, Juha Lemmetyinen, Jouni Pulliainen, Mikko Moisander, and Matias Takala
The Cryosphere, 15, 2969–2981,Short summary
Information about snow water equivalent (SWE) is needed in many applications, including climate model evaluation and forecasting fresh water availability. Space-borne radiometer observations combined with ground snow depth measurements can be used to make global estimates of SWE. In this study, we investigate the possibility of using sparse snow density measurement in satellite-based SWE retrieval and show that using the snow density information in post-processing improves SWE estimations.
Zhixiang Yin, Xiaodong Li, Yong Ge, Cheng Shang, Xinyan Li, Yun Du, and Feng Ling
The Cryosphere, 15, 2835–2856,Short summary
MODIS thermal infrared (TIR) imagery provides promising data to study the rapid variations in the Arctic turbulent heat flux (THF). The accuracy of estimated THF, however, is low (especially for small leads) due to the coarse resolution of the MODIS TIR data. We train a deep neural network to enhance the spatial resolution of estimated THF over leads from MODIS TIR imagery. The method is found to be effective and can generate a result which is close to that derived from Landsat-8 TIR imagery.
Linlu Mei, Vladimir Rozanov, Christine Pohl, Marco Vountas, and John P. Burrows
The Cryosphere, 15, 2757–2780,Short summary
This paper presents a new snow property retrieval algorithm from satellite observations. This is Part 1 of two companion papers and shows the method description and sensitivity study. The paper investigates the major factors, including the assumptions of snow optical properties, snow particle distribution and atmospheric conditions (cloud and aerosol), impacting snow property retrievals from satellite observation.
Linlu Mei, Vladimir Rozanov, Evelyn Jäkel, Xiao Cheng, Marco Vountas, and John P. Burrows
The Cryosphere, 15, 2781–2802,Short summary
This paper presents a new snow property retrieval algorithm from satellite observations. This is Part 2 of two companion papers and shows the results and validation. The paper performs the new retrieval algorithm on the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) instrument and compares the retrieved snow properties with ground-based measurements, aircraft measurements and other satellite products.
Joan Antoni Parera-Portell, Raquel Ubach, and Charles Gignac
The Cryosphere, 15, 2803–2818,Short summary
We describe a new method to map sea ice and water at 500 m resolution using data acquired by the MODIS sensors. The strength of this method is that it achieves high-accuracy results and is capable of attenuating unwanted resolution-breaking effects caused by cloud masking. Our resulting March and September monthly aggregates reflect the loss of sea ice in the European Arctic during the 2000–2019 period and show the algorithm's usefulness as a sea ice monitoring tool.
Joseph A. MacGregor, Michael Studinger, Emily Arnold, Carlton J. Leuschen, Fernando Rodríguez-Morales, and John D. Paden
The Cryosphere, 15, 2569–2574,Short summary
We combine multiple recent global glacier datasets and extend one of them (GlaThiDa) to evaluate past performance of radar-sounding surveys of the thickness of Earth's temperate glaciers. An empirical envelope for radar performance as a function of center frequency is determined, its limitations are discussed and its relevance to future radar-sounder survey and system designs is considered.
Robbie D. C. Mallett, Julienne C. Stroeve, Michel Tsamados, Jack C. Landy, Rosemary Willatt, Vishnu Nandan, and Glen E. Liston
The Cryosphere, 15, 2429–2450,Short summary
We re-estimate pan-Arctic sea ice thickness (SIT) values by combining data from the Envisat and CryoSat-2 missions with data from a new, reanalysis-driven snow model. Because a decreasing amount of ice is being hidden below the waterline by the weight of overlying snow, we argue that SIT may be declining faster than previously calculated in some regions. Because the snow product varies from year to year, our new SIT calculations also display much more year-to-year variability.
Renée Mie Fredensborg Hansen, Eero Rinne, Sinéad Louise Farrell, and Henriette Skourup
The Cryosphere, 15, 2511–2529,Short summary
Ice navigators rely on timely information about ice conditions to ensure safe passage through ice-covered waters, and one parameter, the degree of ice ridging (DIR), is particularly useful. We have investigated the possibility of estimating DIR from the geolocated photons of ICESat-2 (IS2) in the Bay of Bothnia, show that IS2 retrievals from different DIR areas differ significantly, and present some of the first steps in creating sea ice applications beyond e.g. thickness retrieval.
Isolde A. Glissenaar, Jack C. Landy, Alek A. Petty, Nathan T. Kurtz, and Julienne C. Stroeve
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Scientists can estimate sea ice thickness using satellites that measure surface height. To determine the sea ice thickness, we also need to know the snow depth and density. This paper shows that the chosen snow depth product has a considerable impact on the findings of sea ice thickness state and trends in Baffin Bay, showing mean thinning with some snow depth products and mean thickening with others. This shows that it is important to better understand and monitor snow depth on sea ice.
YoungHyun Koo, Hongjie Xie, Stephen F. Ackley, Alberto M. Mestas-Nuñez, Grant J. Macdonald, and Chang-Uk Hyun
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
This study demonstrates for the first time the potential of Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images and Google Earth Engine (GEE) cloud-computing platform for semi-automated tracking of area changes and movements of iceberg B43. Our novel GEE-based iceberg tracking can be used to construct a large iceberg database for a better understanding of the behavior of icebergs and their interactions with surrounding environments.
Paul Willem Leclercq, Andreas Kääb, and Bas Altena
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
In this study we present a novel method to detect glacier surge activity. Surges are relevant as they disturb the link between glacier change and climate and studying surges can also increase understanding of glacier flow. We use variations in Sentinel-1 radar backscatter strength, calculated with the use of Google Earth Engine, to detect surge activity. In our case study for the year 2018–2019 we find 69 cases of surging glaciers globally. Many of these were not previously known to be surging.
Ahmad Hojatimalekshah, Zachary Uhlmann, Nancy F. Glenn, Christopher A. Hiemstra, Christopher J. Tennant, Jake D. Graham, Lucas Spaete, Arthur Gelvin, Hans-Peter Marshall, James P. McNamara, and Josh Enterkine
The Cryosphere, 15, 2187–2209,Short summary
We describe the relationships between snow depth, vegetation canopy, and local-scale processes during the snow accumulation period using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). In addition to topography and wind, our findings suggest the importance of fine-scale tree structure, species type, and distributions on snow depth. Snow depth increases from the canopy edge toward the open areas, but wind and topographic controls may affect this trend. TLS data are complementary to wide-area lidar surveys.
Luisa von Albedyll, Christian Haas, and Wolfgang Dierking
The Cryosphere, 15, 2167–2186,Short summary
Convergent sea ice motion produces a thick ice cover through ridging. We studied sea ice deformation derived from high-resolution satellite imagery and related it to the corresponding thickness change. We found that deformation explains the observed dynamic thickness change. We show that deformation can be used to model realistic ice thickness distributions. Our results revealed new relationships between thickness redistribution and deformation that could improve sea ice models.
Maximillian Van Wyk de Vries and Andrew D. Wickert
The Cryosphere, 15, 2115–2132,Short summary
We can measure glacier flow and sliding velocity by tracking patterns on the ice surface in satellite images. The surface velocity of glaciers provides important information to support assessments of glacier response to climate change, to improve regional assessments of ice thickness, and to assist with glacier fieldwork. Our paper describes Glacier Image Velocimetry (GIV), a new, easy-to-use, and open-source toolbox for calculating high-resolution velocity time series for any glacier on earth.
Simon Zwieback and Franz J. Meyer
The Cryosphere, 15, 2041–2055,Short summary
Thawing of ice-rich permafrost leads to subsidence and slumping, which can compromise Arctic infrastructure. However, we lack fine-scale maps of permafrost ground ice, chiefly because it is usually invisible at the surface. We show that subsidence at the end of summer serves as a
fingerprintwith which near-surface permafrost ground ice can be identified. As this can be done with satellite data, this method may help improve ground ice maps and thus sustainably steward the Arctic.
Georg Pointner, Annett Bartsch, Yury A. Dvornikov, and Alexei V. Kouraev
The Cryosphere, 15, 1907–1929,Short summary
This study presents strong new indications that regions of anomalously low backscatter in C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery of ice of Lake Neyto in northwestern Siberia are related to strong emissions of natural gas. Spatio-temporal dynamics and potential scattering and formation mechanisms are assessed. It is suggested that exploiting the spatial and temporal properties of Sentinel-1 SAR data may be beneficial for the identification of similar phenomena in other Arctic lakes.
Rasmus T. Tonboe, Vishnu Nandan, John Yackel, Stefan Kern, Leif Toudal Pedersen, and Julienne Stroeve
The Cryosphere, 15, 1811–1822,Short summary
A relationship between the Ku-band radar scattering horizon and snow depth is found using a radar scattering model. This relationship has implications for (1) the use of snow climatology in the conversion of satellite radar freeboard into sea ice thickness and (2) the impact of variability in measured snow depth on the derived ice thickness. For both 1 and 2, the impact of using a snow climatology versus the actual snow depth is relatively small.
Daniel Cheng, Wayne Hayes, Eric Larour, Yara Mohajerani, Michael Wood, Isabella Velicogna, and Eric Rignot
The Cryosphere, 15, 1663–1675,Short summary
Tracking changes in Greenland's glaciers is important for understanding Earth's climate, but it is time consuming to do so by hand. We train a program, called CALFIN, to automatically track these changes with human levels of accuracy. CALFIN is a special type of program called a neural network. This method can be applied to other glaciers and eventually other tracking tasks. This will enhance our understanding of the Greenland Ice Sheet and permit better models of Earth's climate.
Stephan Paul and Marcus Huntemann
The Cryosphere, 15, 1551–1565,Short summary
Cloud cover in the polar regions is difficult to identify at night when using only thermal-infrared data. This is due to occurrences of warm clouds over cold sea ice and cold clouds over warm sea ice. Especially the standard MODIS cloud mask frequently tends towards classifying open water and/or thin ice as cloud cover. Using a neural network, we present an improved discrimination between sea-ice, open-water and/or thin-ice, and cloud pixels in nighttime MODIS thermal-infrared satellite data.
Jennifer M. Jacobs, Adam G. Hunsaker, Franklin B. Sullivan, Michael Palace, Elizabeth A. Burakowski, Christina Herrick, and Eunsang Cho
The Cryosphere, 15, 1485–1500,Short summary
This pilot study describes a proof of concept for using lidar on an unpiloted aerial vehicle to map shallow snowpack (< 20 cm) depth in open terrain and forests. The 1 m2 resolution snow depth map, generated by subtracting snow-off from snow-on lidar-derived digital terrain models, consistently had 0.5 to 1 cm precision in the field, with a considerable reduction in accuracy in the forest. Performance depends on the point cloud density and the ground surface variability and vegetation.
The Cryosphere, 15, 1005–1014,Short summary
A total of 9 years of ice velocity and surface height data obtained from a variety of satellites are used to estimate the water run-off from the northern arm of the Humboldt Glacier in NW Greenland. This represents the first direct measurement of water run-off from a large Greenland glacier, and it complements the iceberg calving flux measurements also based on satellite data. This approach should help improve mass loss estimates for some large Greenland glaciers.
Andreas Kääb, Tazio Strozzi, Tobias Bolch, Rafael Caduff, Håkon Trefall, Markus Stoffel, and Alexander Kokarev
The Cryosphere, 15, 927–949,Short summary
We present a map of rock glacier motion over parts of the northern Tien Shan and time series of surface speed for six of them over almost 70 years. This is by far the most detailed investigation of this kind available for central Asia. We detect a 2- to 4-fold increase in rock glacier motion between the 1950s and present, which we attribute to atmospheric warming. Relative to the shrinking glaciers in the region, this implies increased importance of periglacial sediment transport.
Elisabeth D. Hafner, Frank Techel, Silvan Leinss, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere, 15, 983–1004,Short summary
Satellites prove to be very valuable for documentation of large-scale avalanche periods. To test reliability and completeness, which has not been satisfactorily verified before, we attempt a full validation of avalanches mapped from two optical sensors and one radar sensor. Our results demonstrate the reliability of high-spatial-resolution optical data for avalanche mapping, the suitability of radar for mapping of larger avalanches and the unsuitability of medium-spatial-resolution optical data.
Xiongxin Xiao, Shunlin Liang, Tao He, Daiqiang Wu, Congyuan Pei, and Jianya Gong
The Cryosphere, 15, 835–861,Short summary
Daily time series and full space-covered sub-pixel snow cover area data are urgently needed for climate and reanalysis studies. Due to the fact that observations from optical satellite sensors are affected by clouds, this study attempts to capture dynamic characteristics of snow cover at a fine spatiotemporal resolution (daily; 6.25 km) accurately by using passive microwave data. We demonstrate the potential to use the passive microwave and the MODIS data to map the fractional snow cover area.
Andri Gunnarsson, Sigurdur M. Gardarsson, Finnur Pálsson, Tómas Jóhannesson, and Óli G. B. Sveinsson
The Cryosphere, 15, 547–570,Short summary
Surface albedo quantifies the fraction of the sunlight reflected by the surface of the Earth. During the melt season in the Northern Hemisphere solar energy absorbed by snow- and ice-covered surfaces is mainly controlled by surface albedo. For Icelandic glaciers, air temperature and surface albedo are the dominating factors governing annual variability of glacier surface melt. Satellite data from the MODIS sensor are used to create a data set spanning the glacier melt season.
Bryan Riel, Brent Minchew, and Ian Joughin
The Cryosphere, 15, 407–429,Short summary
The availability of large volumes of publicly available remote sensing data over terrestrial glaciers provides new opportunities for studying the response of glaciers to a changing climate. We present an efficient method for tracking changes in glacier speeds at high spatial and temporal resolutions from surface observations, demonstrating the recovery of traveling waves over Jakobshavn Isbræ, Greenland. Quantification of wave properties may ultimately enhance understanding of glacier dynamics.
Marco Bongio, Ali Nadir Arslan, Cemal Melih Tanis, and Carlo De Michele
The Cryosphere, 15, 369–387,Short summary
The capability of time-lapse photography to retrieve snow depth time series was tested. We demonstrated that this method can be efficiently used in three different case studies: two in the Italian Alps and one in a forested region of Finland, with an accuracy comparable to the most common methods such as ultrasonic sensors or manual measurements. We hope that this simple method based only on a camera and a graduated stake can enable snow depth measurements in dangerous and inaccessible sites.
Adina E. Racoviteanu, Lindsey Nicholson, and Neil F. Glasser
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
High mountain glaciers are often characterized by supraglacial debris comprising ponds, exposed ice cliffs and dry vegetation. Quantifying the composition of these surfaces is essential to understand glacier hydrology and related hazards. We used linear spectral unmixing of satellite data to map supraglacial features across the Himalaya. One of the highlights of this study is the automated mapping of supraglacial ponds, which complements and expands the existing lake databases for the year 2015.
Lucie A. Eberhard, Pascal Sirguey, Aubrey Miller, Mauro Marty, Konrad Schindler, Andreas Stoffel, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere, 15, 69–94,Short summary
In spring 2018 in the alpine Dischma valley (Switzerland), we tested different industrial photogrammetric platforms for snow depth mapping. These platforms were high-resolution satellites, an airplane, unmanned aerial systems and a terrestrial system. Therefore, this study gives a general overview of the accuracy and precision of the different photogrammetric platforms available in space and on earth and their use for snow depth mapping.
Stephen E. L. Howell, Randall K. Scharien, Jack Landy, and Mike Brady
The Cryosphere, 14, 4675–4686,Short summary
Melt ponds form on the surface of Arctic sea ice during spring and have been shown to exert a strong influence on summer sea ice area. Here, we use RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to estimate the predicted peak spring melt pond fraction in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2009–2018. Our results show that RADARSAT-2 estimates of peak melt pond fraction can be used to provide predictive information about summer sea ice area within certain regions of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
Chad A. Greene, Alex S. Gardner, and Lauren C. Andrews
The Cryosphere, 14, 4365–4378,Short summary
Seasonal variability is a fundamental characteristic of any Earth surface system, but we do not fully understand which of the world's glaciers speed up and slow down on an annual cycle. Such short-timescale accelerations may offer clues about how individual glaciers will respond to longer-term changes in climate, but understanding any behavior requires an ability to observe it. We describe how to use satellite image feature tracking to determine the magnitude and timing of seasonal ice dynamics.
George Brencher, Alexander L. Handwerger, and Jeffrey S. Munroe
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
We use satellite InSAR to inventory and monitor rock glaciers, frozen bodies of ice and rock debris that are an important water resource in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA. Our inventory contains 255 active rock glaciers, which occur within a narrow elevation band and deform at 2.52 cm/yr on average. Uinta rock glacier movement changes seasonally and appears to be driven by spring snowmelt. The role of rock glaciers as a perennial water resource is threatened by ice loss due to climate change.
Ingmar Nitze, Sarah W. Cooley, Claude R. Duguay, Benjamin M. Jones, and Guido Grosse
The Cryosphere, 14, 4279–4297,Short summary
In summer 2018, northwestern Alaska was affected by widespread lake drainage which strongly exceeded previous observations. We analyzed the spatial and temporal patterns with remote sensing observations, weather data and lake-ice simulations. The preceding fall and winter season was the second warmest and wettest on record, causing the destabilization of permafrost and elevated water levels which likely led to widespread and rapid lake drainage during or right after ice breakup.
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