Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.790 IF 4.790
  • IF 5-year value: 5.921 IF 5-year
    5.921
  • CiteScore value: 5.27 CiteScore
    5.27
  • SNIP value: 1.551 SNIP 1.551
  • IPP value: 5.08 IPP 5.08
  • SJR value: 3.016 SJR 3.016
  • Scimago H <br class='hide-on-tablet hide-on-mobile'>index value: 63 Scimago H
    index 63
  • h5-index value: 51 h5-index 51
Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-198
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-198
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: brief communication 05 Sep 2019

Submitted as: brief communication | 05 Sep 2019

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

Brief Communication: Conventional assumptions involving the speed of radar waves in snow introduce systematic underestimates to sea ice thickness and seasonal growth rate estimates

Robbie D. C. Mallett1, Isobel R. Lawrence1, Julienne C. Stroeve1,2,3, Jack C. Landy4, and Michel Tsamados1 Robbie D. C. Mallett et al.
  • 1Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Earth Sciences, University College London, London, UK
  • 2National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Centre for Earth Observation Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
  • 4School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK

Abstract. Pan-Arctic sea ice thickness has been monitored over recent decades by satellite radar altimeters such as CryoSat-2, which emit Ku-band radar waves that are conventionally assumed to penetrate overlying snow and scatter from the ice-snow interface. Here we examine two expressions for the time delay caused by slower radar wave propagation through the snow layer and related assumptions concerning the time-evolution of overlying snow density. Two conventional treatments lead to systematic underestimates of winter ice thickness and thermodynamic growth rate of up to 15 cm over multiyear ice. Correcting these biases would improve the accuracy of sea ice thickness products, which feed a wide variety of model projections, calibrations, validations and reanalyses.

Robbie D. C. Mallett et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
[Login for Authors/Editors] [Subscribe to comment alert] Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Robbie D. C. Mallett et al.
Model code and software

Jupyter notebook for: "Brief Communication: Common assumptions involving the speed of radar in snow introduce systemic underestimates to sea ice thickness and seasonal growth rate estimates" R. Mallett https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3386503

Robbie D. C. Mallett et al.
Viewed  
Total article views: 222 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
152 66 4 222 15 3 4
  • HTML: 152
  • PDF: 66
  • XML: 4
  • Total: 222
  • Supplement: 15
  • BibTeX: 3
  • EndNote: 4
Views and downloads (calculated since 05 Sep 2019)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 05 Sep 2019)
Viewed (geographical distribution)  
Total article views: 81 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 81 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Cited  
Saved  
No saved metrics found.
Discussed  
No discussed metrics found.
Latest update: 14 Nov 2019
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Sea ice thickness estimates are often derived from radar-satellite measurements of how far sea ice protrudes above the water line. However, these radar measurements must be corrected for slower radar speed in the overlying snow. We first examine a commonly misused equation for this time delay and the effect of assuming a fixed winter snow density. These features cause underestimates in mean sea ice thickness and thickening rates on the order of 5–10 cm respectively.
Sea ice thickness estimates are often derived from radar-satellite measurements of how far sea...
Citation