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Multi-satellite sensor analysis of fast-ice development in the Norske Øer Ice Barrier, northeast Greenland

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The Norske Øer Ice Barrier (NØIB) is a region of fast ice located off the northeast coast of Greenland. It is one of the most extensive areas of landfast ice on Earth. This paper looks at the NØIB formation during the freeze-up of late 2003 and the break-up in summer 2004. As the fast ice is immobile, it provides an ideal location for checking the consistency of classification schemes for satellite sensors. Active microwave (SAR) backscatter values from Envisat are compared with optical observations from the MODIS, multichannel passive microwave from the SSM/I and with ice-freeboard values from the Envisat RA-2. In August 2004 the underside of the NØIB was mapped by an upward-looking multibeam sonar mounted on the Autosub autonomous underwater vehicle. Statistics from sea-ice draft measurements by the multibeam are compared with near-coincident satellite observations. Evaluating the evolution of the fast ice through multiple satellite sensors with ground truth measurements may allow future development of improved automatic classification algorithms which will be better able to track fast-ice extent. Loss of the fast ice for periods of the year has implications for the coastal environment of Greenland and may contribute to the retreat of the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier and enhanced coastal erosion.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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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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