Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-315
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-315

  29 Oct 2020

29 Oct 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Estimation of degree of sea ice ridging in the Bay of Bothnia based on geolocated photon heights from ICESat-2

Renée Mie Fredensborg Hansen1,2, Eero Rinne1, Sinéad Louise Farrell3, and Henriette Skourup2 Renée Mie Fredensborg Hansen et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Marine Research, Erik Palménin aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland
  • 2DTU Space, Geodesy and Earth Observation, Elektrovej Building 328, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
  • 3University of Maryland, Geographical Sciences, 2181 LeFrak hall, College Park, MD20740, United States

Abstract. The ability to provide ice navigators with reliable and timely information on sea ice conditions is crucial to ensure safe passage through rapidly changing ice-covered waters. Degree of ice ridging (DIR) is a particularly useful parameter for ice navigators, as it provides an idea of how difficult it is to navigate through an area based on e.g. sail heights and distribution of sea ice ridges. DIR estimates are included in ice charts of the Baltic Sea, and are based primarily on in situ observations from an active icebreaker fleet. DIR may also potentially be estimated from satellite observations, and warrants further investigation. Here, we present a comparison of Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) geolocated photon heights and operational ice charts from the Finnish Ice Service in the Bay of Bothnia in spring 2019. We show that ICESat-2 (IS2) retrievals from ice areas with different ridging characteristics, more precisely DIR, differ significantly. Thus, we suggest that IS2 data can be of benefit to international ice services, especially if a time critical photon height product were to be made available. Furthermore, we show that the difference between highest and mean photon elevations (elevation anomalies) of IS2 correspond to expected ridge sail heights in our study area. Our study is one of the first steps in creating sea ice applications beyond the traditional goal of freeboard and thickness retrieval for IS2.

Renée Mie Fredensborg Hansen et al.

 
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Renée Mie Fredensborg Hansen et al.

Renée Mie Fredensborg Hansen et al.

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Short summary
Ice navigators relies on timely information about the 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, and 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.