Principal Investigator (PI): Ron Kwok, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Co-Investigator (Co-PI): Don Atwood, University of Alaska Fairbanks

To date, RADARSAT-1 has provided over eleven years of near-uninterrupted 3-day snapshots of the Arctic Ocean ice cover. This has more than doubled the record of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery acquired from an initial expected mission life of five years. The high-resolution data set of small-scale kinematics and deformation derived from these SAR observations has contributed significantly to sea ice science in: the development of new approaches for modeling the mechanical behavior of sea ice and the validation of these models; the characterization of the sub-daily ice motion; a description of the seasonal and regional variability of sea ice deformation; the validation of ICESat freeboard algorithms; and, the estimates of sea ice exchange between the Arctic Ocean and the peripheral seas. Existing funding supports the processing of only seven years of RADARSAT-1 acquisitions into small-scale ice motion estimates.

For the remaining years of RADARSAT-1 data, we propose:

  1. to continue the processing of the data stream to construct a near-decadal record of small-scale ice motion of the Arctic Ocean;
  2. to produce a record of ice motion of the northern Bering Sea; and,
  3. to assemble bi-weekly high-resolution image mosaics of the Arctic Ocean.

The Bering Sea ice motion will contribute to our understanding of the rapidly changing local climate and ecosystem. The image mosaics are new products that will support a wide variety of research topics and comparison with historical SAR datasets from European Remote Sensing (ERS-1) satellite, ERS-2, and Environmental Satellite (Envisat). These datasets will add to the publicly available archive of RADARSAT-1 image and ice motion products.

The proposed work will be a joint project of JPL and NASA's Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC).
Visit the Small-Scale Kinematics of Sea Ice of the Arctic and Southern Oceans

Distributed by ASF DAAC

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