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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-332
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-332
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  16 Nov 2020

16 Nov 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Towards a swath-to-swath sea-ice drift product for the Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer mission

Thomas Lavergne1, Montserrat Piñol Solé2, Emily Down1, and Craig Donlon2 Thomas Lavergne et al.
  • 1Research and Development Department, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • 2European Space Agency, Keplerlaan 1, 2201AZ Noordwijk, the Netherlands

Abstract. Across spatial and temporal scales, sea-ice motion has implications on ship navigation, the sea-ice thickness distribution, sea ice export to lower latitudes and re-circulation in the polar seas, among others. Satellite remote sensing is an effective way to monitor sea-ice drift globally and daily, especially using the wide swaths of passive microwave missions. Since the late 1990s, many algorithms and products have been developed for this task. Here, we investigate how processing sea-ice drift vectors from the intersection of individual swaths of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) mission compares to today's status-quo (processing from daily averaged maps of brightness temperature). We document that the swath-to-swath (S2S) approach results in many more (two orders of magnitude) sea-ice drift vectors than the daily-maps (DM) approach. These S2S vectors also validate better when compared to trajectories of on-ice drifters. For example, the RMSE of the 24 hour Arctic sea-ice drift is 0.9 km for S2S vectors, and 1.3 km for DM vectors from the 36.5 GHz imagery of AMSR2. Through a series of experiments with actual AMSR2 data and simulated Copernicus Imaging Microwave Radiometer (CIMR) data, we study the impact that geo-location uncertainty and imaging resolution have on the accuracy of the sea-ice drift vectors. We conclude by recommending that a swath-to-swath approach is adopted for the future operational Level-2 sea-ice drift product of the CIMR mission. We outline some potential next steps towards further improving the algorithms, and making the user community ready to fully take advantage of such a product.

Thomas Lavergne et al.

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Thomas Lavergne et al.

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Latest update: 27 Nov 2020
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Short summary
Pushed by winds and ocean currents, polar sea ice is always on the move. Satellites are good at measuring 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, 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).
Pushed by winds and ocean currents, polar sea ice is always on the move. Satellites are good at...
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