Derive Icebridge Sea-Ice Freeboard and Thickness Data through Full Waveform Analysis
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
The current Operation IceBridge Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) sea-ice freeboard and thickness data product at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) requires coincident Digital Mapping System (DMS) imagery or Continuous Airborne Mapping By Optical Translator (CAMBOT) imagery to produce. However, some of the IceBridge ATM and Land, Vegetation, and Ice Sensor (LVIS) sea-ice flights have no coincident imagery data. In particular, the IceBridge “South Basin Transect” flights just north of the Canadian Archipelago have historically been flown under darkness (nighttime) and coincident imagery data are not available. Here we apply an algorithm using ATM waveform parameters to identify leads to derive sea-ice freeboard. ATM waveforms were fitted with Gaussian curves to calculate pulse width, peak location, pulse amplitude, and signal baseline. For each waveform, centroid, skewness, kurtosis, and pulse area were also calculated. Received waveform parameters, such as pulse width, pulse amplitude, pulse area, skewness, kurtosis, and transmitted/received pulse area ratio show a coherent response to variations of geophysical features along an ATM profile. These parameters, combined with elevation, were used to identify leads to enable sea-ice freeboard calculation. A similar algorithm is applied to the LVIS data to calculate sea-ice freeboard. Arctic sea-ice freeboards for ATM and LVIS data with no coincident visual imagery are derived in this study, extending the IceBridge sea-ice record over a large portion of thick multi-year sea ice. The results are evaluated/validated by using ATM data with coincident DMS imagery and near coincident ATM and LVIS data comparison.