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Passive microwave signature observations of the Baltic Sea ice

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Passive microwave signatures of various Baltic Sea ice types and open water leads were measured in the spring of 1995 and in March 1997 with airborne non‐imaging microwave radiometers (MWR) operating in the frequency range from 6.8 to 36.5GHz. The MWR datasets were assigned by video imagery into open water leads and various ice type categories. The ground data provided further classification into dry, moist and wet snow sub‐categories. The datasets were used to study the behaviour of the brightness temperature and polarization ratio as a function of frequency and the degree of ice deformation; additionally, the dimensionality of multichannel datasets, classification of surface types, and suitability of the SSM/I and AMSR‐E data and NASA Team and Bootstrap ice concentration algorithms for the mapping of the Baltic Sea ice were examined. The results indicate that open water leads can be distinguished from sea ice regardless of the snow cover wetness, using even single‐channel MWR data. Classification of ice types is possible only under dry snow condition. Determination of the ice type concentrations from the coarse‐resolution space‐borne MWR data is not feasible, because the mean signatures for various ice types are very close to each other. The results also suggest that the SSM/I and AMSR‐E data and the NASA Team and Bootstrap algorithms can be used to map total ice concentration after modifications of open water and sea ice reference signatures.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Laboratory of Space Technology, Helsinki University of Technology, PO Box 3000, FIN–02015 HUT, Finland

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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