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Comparison of sea ice classification methods based on satellite scatterometer and radiometer data in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

  • Xiaoping Pang (a1) (a2), Xiang Gao (a1) and Qing Ji (a1) (a2)


Information on sea ice type is an important factor for deriving sea ice parameters from satellite remote sensing data, such as sea ice concentration, extent and thickness. In this study, sea ice in the Weddell Sea was classified by the histogram threshold (HT) method, the Spreen model (SM) method from satellite scatterometer data and the strong contrast (SC) method from radiometer data, and this information was compared with Antarctic Sea Ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt) sea ice-type ship-based observations. The results show that all three methods can distinguish the multi-year (MY) ice and first-year (FY) ice using Ku-band scatterometer data and radiometer data during the ice growth season, while C-band scatterometer data are not suitable for MY ice and FY ice discrimination using HT and SM methods. The SM model has a smaller MY ice classification extent than the HT method from scatterometer data. The classification accuracy of the SM method is the higher compared to ship-based observations. It can be concluded that the SM method is a promising method for discriminating MY ice from FY ice. These results provide a reference for further retrieval of long-term sea ice-type information for the whole of Antarctica.


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