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We report on the radiative transfer process and optical properties of sea ice in the thermal infrared (TIR) band, presenting two new linear kernel driver models (Relative Emissivity Distribution Function, REDF) that describe TIR emission characteristics of smooth and rough ice. In order to test the models and determine the necessary coefficients, in situ measurements from the Bohai Sea were carried out during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 boreal winters. The results show that the relative emissivity of smooth sea ice decreases along with increasing viewing zenith angle, and the shape of the relative emissivity curve is similar to that of an ideal plane. Affected by parameters such as roughness and surface temperature distribution, the anisotropy of relative emissivity of sea ice with a high degree of roughness is stronger relative to the cosine emitter. The model coefficients were also obtained using a robust regression method based on the measured data. The presented models are more practical than the numerical radiative transfer model and can be used for multi-angular TIR remote sensing.
Sea-ice hazard causes serious harm to aquaculture, marine navigation, offshore oil production and other activities in the Bohai Sea, China. To study the spatial distribution characteristics of sea-ice-hazard risk in Bohai is therefore desirable. The thickness and area of sea ice in the Bohai Sea during the winters (December–March) of 1987–2011 were estimated using data from the NOAA (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) satellite. The sea-ice thickness was converted into a sea-ice-hazard index after defining this index, and the different sea-ice-hazard risk grades were classified. The occurrence probability of sea-ice hazard was also calculated using fuzzy risk theory, and the spatial distribution characteristics of sea-ice-hazard risk in the Bohai Sea were studied. The results show that the sea-ice-hazard risk for offshore aquaculture decreased as the offshore distance increased. All the oilfields in Liaodong Bay are influenced by sea-ice hazard, two of the fields in Bohai Bay are slightly affected and the remaining fields are not influenced. The risk for marine navigation is related to the location of the port and the distance from the port. The risk in the port area is the highest; it is reduced by more than 30% at distances 10 km away from the port.
To investigate the spatio-temporal characteristics of sea-ice resource, we used sea-ice volume to measure the amount of sea-ice resource in the Bohai Sea, China. The sea-ice area was extracted from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) remote-sensing images using the zonal threshold method. The sea-ice thickness was estimated using a sea-ice model based on shortwave radiation theory and field measurements. The spatio-temporal characteristics of sea-ice volume were then analysed using GIS technology. The results indicate that the Bohai Sea experienced two sea-ice volume peaks in winter 2009/10. The largest sea-ice volume was in Liaodong Bay (∼80.26% of the entire sea-ice volume of the Bohai Sea). Bohai Bay had the second largest ice volume, and Laizhou Bay the smallest. The relationship between sea-ice volume and distance from shore is essentially exponential. The proportion of total sea-ice volume that is 0–10 km from shore is ∼42.43%, whereas the proportion that is 100–110 km from shore is only 0.002%.
Based on recent studies on sea ice and newly developed technologies, this paper examines the requirements and environmental factors for exploitation of sea ice as a freshwater resource. Considering the ‘mining’ of sea ice, the suitability of locations in the Bohai Sea, China, for exploitation was analysed and evaluated using GIS technology. The ice must be >10 cm thick, the intertidal zone must be narrow and the ‘mining’ area must have a water depth of at least 2 m. The sea areas with feasible resources are located mainly in the nearshore area of northern Liaodong Bay and in a narrow and long area along the coast of Bohai Bay. Most coastal areas of northern Liaodong Bay have favourable conditions, while Bohai Bay is widely constrained by unsuitable conditions. According to the status of the resources and the coastal environment conditions, the eastern and western coasts of northern Liaodong Bay are the most suitable areas for exploitation at the current technological level.
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