Coastal Sea Ice Detection Using Ground-Based GNSS-R
Journal article, 2017

Determination of sea ice extent is important both for climate modeling and transportation planning. Detection and monitoring of ice are often done by synthetic aperture radar imagery, but mostly without any ground truth. For the latter purpose, robust and continuously operating sensors are required. We demonstrate that signals recorded by ground-based Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers can detect coastal ice coverage on nearby water surfaces. Beside a description of the retrieval approach, we discuss why GNSS reflectometry is sensitive to the presence of sea ice. It is shown that during winter seasons with freezing periods, the GNSS-R analysis of data recorded with a coastal GNSS installation clearly shows the occurrence of ice in the bay where this installation is located. Thus, coastal GNSS installations could be promising sources of ground truth for sea ice extent measurements.


Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)


sea ice


inverse modeling


Joakim Strandberg

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Thomas Hobiger

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

Rüdiger Haas

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Onsala Space Observatory

IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters

1545-598X (ISSN) 15580571 (eISSN)

Vol. 14 9 1552-1556 7993065

Subject Categories

Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Onsala Space Observatory



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