Use of Earth Observations in Detection, Monitoring and Modelling of Sea Ice and Marine Glacial Ice Hazards in the Arctic
Barber, David; Babb, David; Komarov, Alex; Lukovich, Jennifer; McCullough, Greg; Hochheim, Klaus; Asplin, Matthew; Dmitrenko, Igor
University of Mantoba, CANADA
The sea ice in the Arctic has changed in both extent and thickness over the past several decades. A rather counterintuitive effect of this change is an increase in first year sea-ice deformation, increased multiyear sea ice hazards, increased presence of marine glacial ice, and an increase in the speed at which these features circulate. These processes increase hazards to marine operations including shipping, oil and gas exploration and tourism. We summarize sea-ice related research conducted within the Arctic Ocean, Beaufort Sea and Baffin Bay with an outlook towards development of an ice management system used by the hydrocarbon industry. We summarize the current decline in sea ice areal extent and thickness, describe the detection of various sea ice and glacial ice features both in situ and via RADARSAT-2 analysis, and present an assessment of the relative velocities of these ice hazards. We examine how time series scattering to SAR can be of benefit in detection and monitoring through systems such as the ESA Sentinel and the RADARSAT constellation missions. We conclude the paper with a new technique that has been developed to estimate floe thickness through measurement of differential ice motion, and provide a summary of how this ice information requires new approaches in modeling ice motion.