High-resolution sea-ice motions from AMSR-E imagery

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Passive microwave remote-sensing imagery has proven to be a useful source for sea-ice motions because of its all-sky capabilities. However, the low spatial resolution of the passive microwave sensors has not allowed the retrieval of small-scale motion details such as lead and ridge formation. The NASA Earth Observing System Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) has more than double the spatial resolution of previous passive microwave sensors, allowing it to track the formation of moderate-sized leads and yield much more detailed and more accurate ice-motion estimates. Comparisons with buoys indicate that AMSR-E motions have errors >30% lower than ice motions derived from the previous passive microwave sensors. While AMSR-E still cannot retrieve the same level of detail as synthetic aperture radars or visible/infrared sensors, AMSR-E's complete coverage can better capture the ephemeral motions of the sea-ice cover on daily, and potentially sub-daily, timescales.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3189/172756406781811286

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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