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A new algorithm for daily sea ice lead identification in the Arctic and Antarctic winter from thermal-infrared satellite imagery

  • The presence of sea ice leads in the sea ice cover represents a key feature in polar regions by controlling the heat exchange between the relatively warm ocean and cold atmosphere due to increased fluxes of turbulent sensible and latent heat. Sea ice leads contribute to the sea ice production and are sources for the formation of dense water which affects the ocean circulation. Atmospheric and ocean models strongly rely on observational data to describe the respective state of the sea ice since numerical models are not able to produce sea ice leads explicitly. For the Arctic, some lead datasets are available, but for the Antarctic, no such data yet exist. Our study presents a new algorithm with which leads are automatically identified in satellite thermal infrared images. A variety of lead metrics is used to distinguish between true leads and detection artefacts with the use of fuzzy logic. We evaluate the outputs and provide pixel-wise uncertainties. Our data yield daily sea ice lead maps at a resolution of 1 km2 for the winter months November– April 2002/03–2018/19 (Arctic) and April–September 2003–2019 (Antarctic), respectively. The long-term average of the lead frequency distributions show distinct features related to bathymetric structures in both hemispheres.

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Author:Fabian Reiser, Sascha Willmes, Günther Heinemann
Parent Title (English):Remote Sensing
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of completion:2020/06/17
Date of publication:2020/06/17
Publishing institution:Universität Trier
Contributing corporation:The publication was funded by the Open Access Fund of Universität Trier and the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Release Date:2021/09/03
Tag:Arctic; MODIS; leads; sea ice; thermal infrared remote sensing
GND Keyword:Bildverarbeitung; Infrarotthermographie; Meereis; Polargebiete; Satellitenfernerkundung
Issue / no.:12/12
Number of pages:16
First page:1
Last page:16
Institutes:Fachbereich 6 / Raum- und Umweltwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:9 Geschichte und Geografie / 90 Geschichte / 900 Geschichte und Geografie
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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