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Analysis of sea ice motion and deformation in the marginal ice zone of the Bering Sea using SAR data

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This paper presents a study of sea ice motion and deformation in the marginal ice zone (MIZ) of the Bering Sea in the winter season. Segmentation techniques and statistical methods are applied to high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images to derive ice motion and deformation maps. These techniques involve dynamic local thresholding (DLT), which allows separation of sea ice into different classes of thickness and type. Two ice motion characteristics are observed, one consisting of a translation and a rotation at a scale larger than about 10 km day-1 and the other consisting of field deformations at a spatial scale of less than about 5 km over a 3-day period. Sea ice deformation rates are calculated, and the divergence and shear feature of the sea ice in different regions identified. Possible causes, associated with wind, wave, current and internal ice forces, for the sea ice motion and deformation are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Vermont, Bington, VT, USA 2: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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