Use of Satellite Remote Sensing to Study Wave-Ice Interactions in the Marginal Ice Zone – A Review

Predicting the wave climate in the Polar regions is vital for navigation and offshore operation safety. These predictions are nowadays made using numerical models based on different theories for wave-ice interactions. To date, hardly any field measurements exist that can be used to validate the proposed theoretical models. Remote sensing observations, on the other hand, have a great potential and they are gaining a widespread interest due to the large amounts of data that can be collected continuously over an extensive area. In this study, the authors discuss the use of satellite remote sensing to improve our understanding of wave-ice interactions. Three different types of satellite remote sensing are reviewed, including optical, altimetry and synthetic aperture radar (SAR). The authors present examples of such data over the Barents Sea, where new in situ data are available. These in situ data, which were collected during the Barents Sea Metocean and Ice Network (BaSMIN) field campaign, are used to illuminate the review. Optical data provide high quality and high-resolution images. However, just a small portion of such data are useful to study wave-ice interactions because only images acquired with daylight and cloud free conditions can be processed. Imagery over our study site reveal a tremendous amount of detail of the sea ice, including a diffusive and compact ice edge. Altimetry data provide accurate wave height information up to the ice edge. Wave height data are collected over our study site and validated with buoy measurements. Since the Polar regions are often dark and cloud covered, active microwave sensors such as SAR are the most valuable source of information in these regions. Four different applications of SAR are reviewed: imaging of ocean waves within the ice cover and determination of the ice edge, ice type and floe size distribution. Regarding ocean waves in sea ice, SAR can provide information on wave attenuation, the change in peak wavelength and the shift in dominant wave direction.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01745178
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 6 2020 11:30AM