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A comparison of two 85-GHz SSM/I ice concentration algorithms with AVHRR and ERS-2 SAR imagery

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3 Author(s)
S. Kern ; Inst. of Oceanogr., Univ. of Hamburg, Germany ; L. Kaleschke ; D. A. Clausi

Sea ice concentrations obtained with two algorithms from Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) data are compared to spaceborne visible/infrared and active microwave imagery for the Greenland Sea in spring. Both algorithms, the ARTIST Sea Ice algorithm (ASI) and the SEA LION algorithm (SLA), utilize 85-GHz SSM/I brightness temperatures with a spatial resolution of 15 km ×13 km. Ice concentrations obtained from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) infrared data in cloud-free areas are underestimated by SLA and ASI ice concentrations by 3.6% and 8.3% (correlation coefficients of 0.90 and 0.91). Ice concentrations estimated from texture classified ERS-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images by assigning experience-based ice concentrations to ice-type classes are overestimated by SLA and ASI ice concentrations by 4.4% and 1.5% (correlation coefficients of 0.84 and 0.77). However, omitting low/high ice concentrations forming up to 80% (AVHRR) and 60% (SAR) of the entire dataset reveals a significantly different statistic. For instance, the correlation between AVHRR and SLA and ASI ice concentrations drops to 0.77 and 0.70, respectively. All presented techniques to obtain ice concentrations need improvement and future developments should involve larger datasets. However, with care, both algorithms can be used to obtain reasonable ice concentration maps with a 12.5 km ×12.5 km grid-cell size.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 10 )