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To investigate the suitability of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) polarization data to estimate the sea-ice thickness in early summer in Lutzow-Holm Bay, Antarctica, we compared in situ ice thicknesses with the corresponding backscattering co-efficient for each polarization and the VV-to-HH backscattering ratio. The VV-to-HH backscattering ratio was derived from data acquired by ENVISAT Advanced SAR (ASAR). This ratio is related to the near-surface dielectric constant of the sea ice, which is, in turn, related to the developing process of ice and, thus, its thickness via changes in the near-surface sea-ice salinity. The sea ice encountered in the study area is close first-year pack ice and fast ice. For these old and relatively rough sea-ice types, the VV-to-HH backscattering ratio can be expected to depend on salinity-driven changes in the near-surface dielectric constant rather than changes of the surface roughness. We applied the empirical relationships between the ice thickness and the VV-to-HH backscattering ratio with the linear and logarithm fits to ASAR data. The linear fit gave the reliable result, with an rms error being 0.08 m and a correlation coefficient being 0.91, when compared to in situ fast-ice thickness.