Sea ice observation in Antarctica Status and Outlook
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
There are known deficiencies in contemporary sea ice observation techniques. Manual methods are physically laborious and subject to human-induced observation error, as are ship-based methods. Upward Looking Sonar (ULS) allows the subsurface mapping of ice floe topography, though it is subject to acoustic propagation errors. Electromagnetic Induction Sounding (EM) is principally impaired by device size, weight and flight height. Visible/near-IR (VIR), thermal infrared (TIR) and laser altimetry are challenged by atmospheric interference and/or require solar illumination, limiting their applicability at night or in the polar winter. Microwave methods (Radar Altimetry, Passive Microwave) can penetrate cloud and snow cover, albeit at lower spatial and temporal resolutions. This paper provides a summary of current observation technology, and highlights future research directions in this field.
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