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Sea-ice freeboard and thickness in the Ross Sea from airborne (IceBridge 2013) and satellite (ICESat 2003–2008) observations

  • Liuxi Tian (a1) (a2), Hongjie Xie (a1) (a2), Stephen F. Ackley (a1) (a2), Jiakui Tang (a1) (a3), Alberto M. Mestas-Nuñez (a1) (a2) and Xianwei Wang (a4)...

Abstract

NASA's Operation IceBridge mission flew over the Ross Sea, Antarctica (20 and 27 November 2013) and collected data with Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) and Digital Mapping System (DMS). Using the DMS and reflectivity of ATM L1B, leads are detected to define local sea level height. The total freeboard is then obtained and converted to ice thickness. The estimated mean sea-ice thickness values are found to be in the 0.48–0.99 m range. Along the N-S track, sea ice was thinner southward rather than northward of the fluxgate, resulting in two peaks of modal thickness: 0.35 m (south) and 0.7 m (north). This supports that new ice produced in coastal polynyas is transported northward by katabatic winds off the ice-shelf. The lowest (2%) elevation method used for freeboard retrieval for ICESat is also tested for ATM data. It is found that the lowest elevation method tends to overestimate freeboard, but mean values are less affected than mode values. Using mean thickness values of ICESat and ATM along the ‘fluxgate’, separating the shelf from the deep ocean, the exported ice volume at this ‘fluxgate’ is found to be higher during the ICESat years (2003–2008) than during the IceBridge year (2013).

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      Sea-ice freeboard and thickness in the Ross Sea from airborne (IceBridge 2013) and satellite (ICESat 2003–2008) observations
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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Hongjie Xie, E-mail: hongjie.xie@utsa.edu

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Keywords

Sea-ice freeboard and thickness in the Ross Sea from airborne (IceBridge 2013) and satellite (ICESat 2003–2008) observations

  • Liuxi Tian (a1) (a2), Hongjie Xie (a1) (a2), Stephen F. Ackley (a1) (a2), Jiakui Tang (a1) (a3), Alberto M. Mestas-Nuñez (a1) (a2) and Xianwei Wang (a4)...

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