Extending the QuikSCAT record of seasonal melt–freeze transitions over Arctic sea ice using ASCAT
2014 (English)In: Remote Sensing of Environment, ISSN 0034-4257, E-ISSN 1879-0704, Vol. 141, no 5, 214-230 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The seasonal melt–freeze transitions are important to continuously monitor over Arctic sea ice in order to better understand Arctic climate variability. The Ku-band scatterometer QuikSCAT (13.4 GHz), widely used to retrieve pan-Arctic seasonal transitions, discontinued its decadal long record in 2009. In this study, we show that the C-band scatterometer ASCAT (5.3 GHz), in orbit since 2006 and with an anticipated lifetime through 2021, can be used to extend the QuikSCAT record of seasonal melt–freeze transitions. This is done by (1) comparing back- scatter measurements over multiyear and first-year ice, and by (2) retrieving seasonal transitions from resolution-enhanced ASCAT and QuikSCAT measurements and comparing the results with independent datasets. Despite operating in different frequencies, ASCAT and QuikSCAT respond similarly to surface transitions. However, QuikSCAT measurements respond slightly stronger to the early melt of first-year ice, making it less sensitive to sea-ice dynamics. To retrieve the transitions, we employed an improved edge-detector algorithm, which was iterated and constrained using sea-ice concentration data, efficiently alleviating unreasonable outliers. This gives melt–freeze transitions over all Arctic sea ice north of 60°N at a 4.45 km resolution during 1999–2009 and 2009–2012 for QuikSCAT and ASCAT, respectively. Using the sensor overlap period, we show that the retrieved transitions retrieved from the different instruments are largely consistent across all regions in the Arctic sea-ice domain, indicating a robust consistency.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 141, no 5, 214-230 p.
Active microwave measurements, Satelliteborne scatterometry, Arctic sea ice and snow, Surface processes, Melt–freeze retrieval, Arctic climate
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-99928DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2013.11.004ISI: 000331662600018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-99928DiVA: diva2:689539