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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-223
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2018-223
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Nov 2018

Research article | 12 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Estimating the snow depth, the snow-ice interface temperature, and the effective temperature of Arctic sea ice using Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 and Ice Mass Balance buoys data

Lise Kilic1, Rasmus Tage Tonboe2, Catherine Prigent1, and Georg Heygster3 Lise Kilic et al.
  • 1Sorbonne Université, Observatoire de Paris, Université PSL, CNRS, LERMA, Paris, France
  • 2Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

Abstract. Mapping Sea Ice Concentration (SIC) and understanding sea ice properties and variability is important especially today with the recent Arctic sea ice decline. Moreover, accurate estimation of the sea ice effective temperature (Teff) at 50GHz is needed for atmospheric sounding applications over sea ice and for noise reduction in SIC estimates. At low microwave frequencies, the sensitivity to atmosphere is low, and it is possible to derive sea ice parameters due to the penetration of microwaves in the snow and ice layers. In this study, we propose simple algorithms to derive the snow depth, the snow-ice interface temperature (TSnow-Ice) and the Teff of Arctic sea ice from microwave brightness temperatures (TBs). This is achieved using the Round Robin Data Package of the ESA sea ice CCI project, which contains TBs from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) collocated with measurements from Ice Mass Balance (IMB) buoys and the NASA Operation Ice Bridge (OIB) airborne campaigns over the Arctic sea ice. The snow depth over sea ice is estimated with an error of ~6cm using a multilinear regression with the TBs at 6V, 18V, and 36V. The TSnow-Ice is retrieved using a linear regression as a function of the snow depth and the TBs at 10V or 6V. The Root Mean Square Errors (RMSEs) obtained are 1.69 and 1.95K respectively, with the 10V and 6V TBs. The Teff at microwave frequencies between 6 and 89GHz is expressed as a function of TSnow-Ice using data from a thermodynamical model combined with the Microwave Emission Model of Layered Snow-packs. Teffs are estimated from the TSnow-Ice with a RMSE of less than 1 K.

Lise Kilic et al.
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Short summary
In this study, we develop and present simple algorithms to derive the snow depth, the snow-ice interface temperature, and the effective temperature of Arctic sea ice. This is achieved using satellite observations collocated with buoys measurements. The errors of the retrieved parameters are estimated and compared with independent data. These parameters are useful for sea ice concentration mapping, understanding sea ice properties and variability, and for atmospheric sounding applications.
In this study, we develop and present simple algorithms to derive the snow depth, the snow-ice...
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