EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Use of L- and C-Band SAR Satellites for Sea Ice and Iceberg Monitoring (LC-ICE)

Wolfgang Dierking1,2 and Malcolm Davidson3
Wolfgang Dierking and Malcolm Davidson
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
  • 3ESA/ESTEC, Department of Science, Applications and Future Technologies, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

In support of ESA's Mission Advisory Group for ROSE-L (Radar Observing System for Europe at L-band), a project team consisting of members of operational ice services and the International Ice Charting Working Group,  the International Ice Patrol, and groups from universities and research institutes is investigating the benefits of using data from L-band SAR in addition to C-band SAR imagery for separating different sea ice classes and detecting icebergs. The tasks are: (1) a critical assessment of the current state-of-the-art in sea ice monitoring and iceberg detection, (2) matching C- and L-band SAR images acquired with temporal gaps of several hours, (3) tests and assessments of the practical use of L-band images in the operational mapping services, and (4) comparison of classification accuracies that can be achieved at C-band, L-band, and a combination of both, based on the results of automated segmentation and classification algorithms. Based on the suggestions of operational ice centers, data have been collected since April 2019 over six test sites for the Northern Hemisphere: Fram Strait, Belgica Bank, northern and southern parts of Greenland, Baffin Bay and Labrador Sea. The SAR images are acquired by Sentinel-1 at Extra Wide and Interferomeric Wide Swath modes, by RADARSAT-2 at ScanSAR mode, and by ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 at Wide Beam and Fine Beam modes. The PALSAR-2 data are provided through the 2019 to 2022 mutual cooperation project between ESA and JAXA on using SAR data in earth sciences and applications. The presentation - with contributions from project partners - will focus on the conclusions from the literature review, assessments of operational ice services regarding the gain they find in using L-band SAR images supplementary to routinely analyzed C-band imagery, and preliminary results of automated classification. 

How to cite: Dierking, W. and Davidson, M.: Use of L- and C-Band SAR Satellites for Sea Ice and Iceberg Monitoring (LC-ICE), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3916,, 2021.


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