High radar-backscatter regions on Antarctic sea-ice and their relation to sea-ice and snow properties and meteorological conditions.

Willmes, Sascha, Haas, Christian and Nicolaus, Marcel (2011) High radar-backscatter regions on Antarctic sea-ice and their relation to sea-ice and snow properties and meteorological conditions. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 32 (14). pp. 3967-3984. DOI 10.1080/01431161003801344.

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Abstract

The temporal and spatial variability of sea-ice radar signatures in the Southern Ocean during late winter, spring and early summer from QuikSCAT data is presented. We observe a circumpolar and broad band of sea-ice close to the marginal ice zone that is characterized by very high radar backscatter. This feature is explained through detailed in situ observations of snow and sea-ice properties as well as in relation to meteorological conditions, which were derived from US National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) reanalysis data. Our results indicate that high backscatter regions are caused by metamorphous snow, which forms through re-freezing after short-term melt events. This process is connected with the episodic passes of low-pressure systems entraining warmer air from the north. South of the Antarctic Circumpolar Trough, sea-ice is not affected by this influence and shows spatially homogenous microwave signatures with low backscatter.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Southern Ocean; Sea-ice; QuikSCAT data; sea-ice properties; Snow properties
Research affiliation: AWI
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1080/01431161003801344
ISSN: 0143-1161
Projects: Polynya, Laptev Sea System
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 12:10
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2014 12:10
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/26348

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