EGU21-16150
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-16150
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

KuKa altimeter mode data gathered during MOSAiC: scattering from snow covered sea ice and snow depth determination using dual-frequency and polarimetric approaches

Rosemary Willatt1, Julienne Stroeve1,2,3, Vishnu Nandan2, Rasmus Tonboe4, Stefan Hendricks5, Robert Ricker5, James Mead6, Thomas Newman1, Polona Itkin7, Glen Liston8, Robbie Mallett1, Lu Zhou9, Martin Schneebeli10, Daniela Krampe5, Michel Tsamados1, Oguz Demir11, Marc Oggier12, Ella Buehner Gattis1, and Jeremy Wilkinson13
Rosemary Willatt et al.
  • 1UCL, CPOM, Earth Sciences, United Kingdom of Great Britain – England, Scotland, Wales (r.willatt@ucl.ac.uk)
  • 2University of Manitoba
  • 3NSIDC
  • 4Danish Meteorological Institute
  • 5Alfred Wegener Institute
  • 6ProSensing
  • 7Arctic University of Norway
  • 8Colorado State University
  • 9Tsinghua University
  • 10WSL
  • 11Ohio State University
  • 12University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 13British Antarctic Survey

Retrieving the thickness of sea ice, and its snow cover, on long time- and length-scales is critical for studying climate. Satellite altimetry has provided estimations of sea ice thickness spanning nearly three decades, and more recently altimetry techniques have provided estimations of snow depth, using dual-band satellite altimetry data. These approaches are based on assumptions about the main scattering surfaces of the radiation. The dominant scattering surface is often assumed to be the snow/ice interface at Ku-band frequencies and the air/snow interface at Ka-band and laser frequencies. It has previously been shown that these assumptions do not always hold, but field data to investigate the dominant scattering surfaces and investigate how these relate to the physical snow and ice characteristics were spatially and temporally limited. The MOSAiC expedition provided a unique opportunity to gather data using a newly-developed Ku- and Ka-band radar 'KuKa' deployed over snow-covered sea ice, along with coincident field measurements of snow and ice properties. We present transect data gathered with the instrument looking at nadir to demonstrate how the scattering characteristics vary spatially and temporally in the Ku- and Ka-bands, and discuss implications for interpretation of dual-frequency satellite radar altimetry data. We compare KuKa data with field measurements to demonstrate snow depth retrieval using Ku- and Ka-band data.

How to cite: Willatt, R., Stroeve, J., Nandan, V., Tonboe, R., Hendricks, S., Ricker, R., Mead, J., Newman, T., Itkin, P., Liston, G., Mallett, R., Zhou, L., Schneebeli, M., Krampe, D., Tsamados, M., Demir, O., Oggier, M., Buehner Gattis, E., and Wilkinson, J.: KuKa altimeter mode data gathered during MOSAiC: scattering from snow covered sea ice and snow depth determination using dual-frequency and polarimetric approaches, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-16150, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-16150, 2021.

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