Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-223
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-223

  22 Jul 2021

22 Jul 2021

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

Large-scale sea ice motion from Sentinel-1 and the RADARSAT Constellation Mission

Stephen E. L. Howell1, Mike Brady1, and Alexander S. Komarov2 Stephen E. L. Howell et al.
  • 1Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Canada
  • 2Meteorological Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Abstract. As Arctic sea ice extent continues to decline, remote sensing observations are becoming even more vital for the monitoring and understanding of sea ice. Recently, the sea ice community has entered a new era of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites operating at C-band with the launch of Sentinel-1A in 2014, Sentinel-1B in 2016 and the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) in 2019. These missions represent 5 spaceborne SAR sensors, that together routinely cover the pan-Arctic sea ice domain. Here, we utilized over 60,000 SAR images from Sentinel-1AB (S1) and RCM to generate large-scale sea ice motion (SIM) estimates over the pan-Arctic domain from March to December, 2020. On average, 4.5 million SIM vectors from S1 and RCM were automatically detected per week for 2020 and when combined (S1+RCM) they facilitated the generation of 7-day, 25 km SIM products across the pan-Arctic domain. S1+RCM SIM provided more coverage in Hudson Bay, Davis Strait, Beaufort Sea, Bering Sea, and over the North Pole compared to SIM from S1 alone. S1+RCM SIM was able to be resolved within the narrow channels and inlets across the pan-Arctic alleviating the main limitation of coarser resolution sensors. S1+RCM SIM provided larger ice speeds with a mean difference (MD) of 1.3 km/day compared to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) SIM product and a MD of 0.76 km/day compared to Ocean and Sea Ice-Satellite Application Facility (OSI-SAF) SIM product. S1+RCM was also able to better resolve SIM in the marginal ice zone compared to the NSIDC and OSA-SAF SIM products. Overall, our results demonstrate that combining SIM from multiple spaceborne SAR satellites allows for large-scale SIM to be routinely generated across the pan-Arctic domain.

Stephen E. L. Howell et al.

Status: open (until 16 Sep 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Stephen E. L. Howell et al.

Data sets

S1+RCM 7-day Sea Ice Motion S. E. L. Howell, M. Brady, and A. S. Komarov https://crd-data-donnees-rdc.ec.gc.ca/CPS/products/PanArctic_SIM/

Stephen E. L. Howell et al.

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Short summary
60,000 satellite images from Sentinel-1AB (S1) and RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) were used to generate large-scale sea ice motion estimates over the Arctic from March to December, 2020. Combing S1 and RCM provided more spatial coverage in Hudson Bay, Davis Strait, Beaufort Sea, Bering Sea, and the North Pole. Overall, our results demonstrate that combining sea ice motion from multiple satellites allows for large-scale sea ice motion to be routinely generated across the Arctic.