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Spaceborne single-polarization C-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery is widely used to gather information about the state of the sea ice cover in the polar regions. C-band is regarded as a reasonable choice for all-season monitoring capabilities. For specific mapping tasks, however, other frequency bands can be more suitable. In the first part of this paper, the summary of a literature study dealing with the utilization of L-band SAR imagery for sea ice monitoring is presented. Investigations reveal that if deformation features such as ice ridges, rubble fields, and brash ice are to be mapped, L-band radar is superior in a number of cases. The second part of this paper addresses the comparison of JERS-1 and ERS-1 SAR images that were acquired over sea ice east of Svalbard and along the east coast of Greenland. The effects of the different frequencies, polarizations, and incidence angles of the two SAR systems are discussed. It is demonstrated that the images of both sensors complement one another in the analysis of ice conditions, resulting in a more detailed view of the sea ice cover state.