Spatio-Temporal Coherence Based Technique for Near-Real Time Sea-Ice Identification from Scatterometer Data

Abstract

The identification of sea-ice has frequently been cited as one of the most important tasks for deriving the sea-ice parameters and to avoid erroneous retrieval of wind vector over sea-ice infested oceans using space-borne scatterometer data. Discrimination between sea-ice and ocean is ambiguous under the high wind and/or thin/scattered ice conditions. The pre-launch technique developed for Oceansat-2, utilizes the dual-polarized QuikSCAT scatterometer data by using the spatio-temporal coherence properties of sea ice in addition to backscatter coefficient and the Active Polarization Ratio. Results were compared with the operational sea-ice products from National Snow and Ice Data Center. The threshold API value of −0.025 was found optimum for sea-ice and ocean discrimination. The overall sea-ice identification accuracy achieved was of the order of 95 per cent, ranging from 92.5% (during December in Southern Hemisphere) to 98% (during March in Northern Hemisphere). The applicability of the algorithm for both the Arctic as well as Antarctic makes it suitable for its operational use with the Oceansat-2 scatterometer data.

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Acknowledgements

Authors gratefully acknowledge the suggestions and encouragement provided by R R Navalgund, Director, Space Applications Centre (SAC) and JS Parihar, Deputy Director, EPSA/SAC. The suggestions of M. Chakraborty and P K Pal (SAC) have made the article more meaningful. QuikSCAT sigma-0 data are obtained from the NASA sponsored Scatterometer Climate Record Pathfinder at Brigham Young University through the courtesy of David G Long (http://www.scp.byu.edu).

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Correspondence to Sandip R. Oza.

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Oza, S.R., Singh, R.K.K., Vyas, N.K. et al. Spatio-Temporal Coherence Based Technique for Near-Real Time Sea-Ice Identification from Scatterometer Data. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 39, 147–152 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12524-011-0070-x

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Keywords

  • Sea-Ice identification
  • Scatterometer
  • QuikSCAT
  • Spatio-temporal coherence