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Microwave Signatures of Snow on Sea Ice: Observations

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9 Author(s)
T. Markus ; Hydrospheric & Biospheric Sci. Lab., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD ; D. J. Cavalieri ; A. J. Gasiewski ; M. Klein
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Part of the Earth Observing System Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) Arctic sea ice validation campaign in March 2003 was dedicated to the validation of snow depth on sea ice and ice temperature products. The difficulty with validating these two variables is that neither can currently be measured other than in situ. For this reason, two aircraft flights on March 13 and 19, 2003, were dedicated to these products, and flight lines were coordinated with in situ measurements of snow and sea ice physical properties. One flight was in the vicinity of Barrow, AK, covering Elson Lagoon and the adjacent Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The other flight was farther north in the Beaufort Sea (about 73degN, 147.5degW) and was coordinated with a Navy ice camp. The results confirm the AMSR-E snow depth algorithm and its coefficients for first-year ice when it is relatively smooth. For rough first-year ice and for multiyear ice, there is still a relationship between the spectral gradient ratio of 19 and 37 GHz, but a different set of algorithm coefficients is necessary. Comparisons using other AMSR-E channels did not provide a clear signature of sea ice characteristics and, hence, could not provide guidance for the choice of algorithm coefficients. The limited comparison of in situ snow-ice interface and surface temperatures with 6-GHz brightness temperatures, which are used for the retrieval of ice temperature, shows that the 6-GHz temperature is correlated with the snow-ice interface temperature to only a limited extent. For strong temperature gradients within the snow layer, it is clear that the 6-GHz temperature is a weighted average of the entire snow layer

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IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing  (Volume:44 ,  Issue: 11 )