Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-316
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-316

  28 Oct 2021

28 Oct 2021

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

Validation of a daily satellite-derived Antarctic sea ice velocity product: impacts on ice kinematics

Tian R. Tian1,2, Alexander D. Fraser2,1, Noriaki Kimura3, Chen Zhao2,1, and Petra Heil4,2 Tian R. Tian et al.
  • 1Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
  • 2Australian Antarctic Program Partnership, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
  • 3Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan
  • 4Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, TAS 7050, Australia

Abstract. Antarctic sea ice kinematic plays a crucial role in shaping the polar climate and ecosystems. Satellite passive microwave-derived sea ice motion data have been used widely for studying sea ice motion and deformation processes, and provide daily, global coverage at a relatively low spatial-resolution (in the order of 60 × 60 km). In the Arctic, several validated data sets of satellite observations are available and used to study sea ice kinematics, but far fewer validation studies exist for the Antarctic. Here, we compare the widely-used passive microwave-derived Antarctic sea ice motion product by Kimura et al. (2013) with buoy-derived velocities, and interpret the effects of satellite observational configuration on the representation of Antarctic sea ice kinematics. We identify two issues in the Kimura et al. (2013) product: (i) errors in two large triangular areas within the eastern Weddell Sea and western Amundsen Sea relating to an error in the input satellite data composite, and (ii) a more subtle error relating to invalid assumptions for the average sensing time of each pixel. Upon rectification of these, performance of the daily composite sea ice motion product is found to be a function of latitude, relating to the number of satellite swaths incorporated (more swaths further south as tracks converge), and the heterogeneity of the underlying satellite signal (brightness temperature here). Daily sea ice motion vectors calculated using ascending- and descending-only satellite tracks (with a true ~24 h time-scale) are compared with the widely-used combined product (ascending and descending tracks combined together, with an inherent ~39 h time-scale). This comparison reveals that kinematic parameters derived from the shorter time-scale velocity datasets are higher in magnitude than the combined dataset, indicating a high degree of sensitivity to observation time-scale. We conclude that the new generation of “swath-to-swath” (S2S) sea ice velocity datasets, encompassing a range of observational time scales, is necessary to advance future research into sea ice kinematics.

Tian R. Tian et al.

Status: open (until 23 Dec 2021)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-316', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Nov 2021 reply

Tian R. Tian et al.

Tian R. Tian et al.

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Short summary
This study presents a comprehensive validation of satellite observational sea ice motion product in the Antarctic by using drifting buoys. We find there are two problems exist in this sea ice motion product. After rectifying problems, we use this satellite-derive ice motion dataset to investigate the impacts of observational configuration on sea ice kinematics in the Antarctic and suggest the future improvement on satellite missions specifically designed for retrieval of sea ice motion.