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Snow Thickness Estimation on First-Year Sea Ice from Late Winter Spaceborne Scatterometer Backscatter Variance

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dc.contributor.author Yackel, John
dc.contributor.author Geldsetzer, Torsten
dc.contributor.author Mahmud, Mallik
dc.contributor.author Nandan, Vishnu
dc.contributor.author Howell, Stephen E. L.
dc.contributor.author Scharien, Randall K.
dc.contributor.author Lam, Hoi Ming
dc.date.accessioned 2019-03-02T00:36:52Z
dc.date.available 2019-03-02T00:36:52Z
dc.date.copyright 2019 en_US
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.citation Yackel, J., Geldsetzer, T., Mahmud, M., Nandan, V., Howell, S.E.L., Scharien, R.K. & Lam, H.M. (2019). Snow Thickness Estimation on First-Year Sea Ice from Late Winter Spaceborne Scatterometer Backscatter Variance. Remote Sensing, 11(4), 417. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11040417 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rs11040417
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/10612
dc.description.abstract Ku- and C-band spaceborne scatterometer sigma nought (σ°) backscatter data of snow covered landfast first-year sea ice from the Canadian Arctic Archipelago are acquired during the winter season with coincident in situ snow-thickness observations. Our objective is to describe a methodological framework for estimating relative snow thickness on first-year sea ice based on the variance in σ° from daily time series ASCAT and QuikSCAT scatterometer measurements during the late winter season prior to melt onset. We first describe our theoretical basis for this approach, including assumptions and conditions under which the method is ideally suited and then present observational evidence from four independent case studies to support our hypothesis. Results suggest that the approach can provide a relative measure of snow thickness prior to σ° detected melt onset at both Ku- and C-band frequencies. We observe that, during the late winter season, a thinner snow cover displays a larger variance in daily σ° compared to a thicker snow cover on first-year sea ice. This is because for a given increase in air temperature, a thinner snow cover manifests a larger increase in basal snow layer brine volume owing to its higher thermal conductivity, a larger increase in the dielectric constant and a larger increase in σ° at both Ku- and C bands. The approach does not apply when snow thickness distributions on first-year sea ice being compared are statistically similar, indicating that similar late winter σ° variances likely indicate regions of similar snow thickness. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This research was funded by Canadian NSERC Discovery grants to John Yackel and Randy Scharien as well as Polar Continental Shelf Project and Polar Knowledge Canada support to C.J. Mundy, Brent Else, Randy Scharien and John Yackel. The APC was funded by Canadian NSERC Discovery grants to John Yackel. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Remote Sensing en_US
dc.subject snow thickness en_US
dc.subject first-year sea ice en_US
dc.subject scatterometer en_US
dc.subject backscatter (σ°) variance en_US
dc.subject ASCAT en_US
dc.subject QuikSCAT en_US
dc.title Snow Thickness Estimation on First-Year Sea Ice from Late Winter Spaceborne Scatterometer Backscatter Variance en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Faculty en_US
dc.description.reviewstatus Reviewed en_US


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