Mapping Arctic Bottomfast Sea Ice Using SAR Interferometry
Journal article, 2018
Bottomfast sea ice is an integral part of many near-coastal Arctic ecosystems with implications for subsea permafrost, coastal stability and morphology. Bottomfast sea ice is also of great relevance to over-ice travel by coastal communities, industrial ice roads, and marine habitats. There are currently large uncertainties around where and how much bottomfast ice is present in the Arctic due to the lack of effective approaches for detecting bottomfast sea ice on large spatial scales. Here, we suggest a robust method capable of detecting bottomfast sea ice using spaceborne synthetic aperture radar interferometry. This approach is used to discriminate between slowly deforming floating ice and completely stationary bottomfast ice based on the interferometric phase. We validate the approach over freshwater ice in the Mackenzie Delta, Canada, and over sea ice in the Colville Delta and Elson Lagoon, Alaska. For these areas, bottomfast ice, as interpreted from the interferometric phase, shows high correlation with local bathymetry and in-situ ice auger and ground penetrating radar measurements. The technique is further used to track the seasonal evolution of bottomfast ice in the Kasegaluk Lagoon, Alaska, by identifying freeze-up progression and areas of liquid water throughout winter.
Synthetic aperture radar
Sea ice deformation
Landfast sea ice