Applications of radar interferometry for measuring ice motion
Paper in proceeding, 2021

Ongoing sea ice decline has major implications for human activities near sea ice due to shorter seasons for on-ice operations and thinner ice with reduced load-bearing capacity and stability in many regions. This may in turn lead to increased sea ice mobility and impacts of ice movement on structures. We investigate space-borne radar interferometry (InSAR) as a technique to measure mm-scale sea ice motion of stationary ice over weeks to months. We find that InSAR enables mapping of bottomfast and stabilized landfast ice as regions with near-zero or reduced deformation. We further use this data to derive landfast ice strain and stress enabling estimation of the fracturing potential along the Northstar Island ice road in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska. We further examine ground-based radar interferometry (GRI) as a tool to collect continuous near real-time measurements on the km-scale not possible with InSAR. Based on GRI measurements conducted in Utqiaġvik, Alaska, we demonstrate the ability to evaluate ice strain in stationary ice and track vertical ice displacement due to tides. We also collected GRI measurements at 500 Hz during a drifting ice camp in the Beaufort Sea. The high sampling rate enabled tracking of continuous strain and detection of subtle variations in behavior between ice regimes. Through this work, interferometry shows promise as a tool to observe ice motion at the relevant scales needed for assessing sea ice stability, identify precursors to failure events, and better understand the relationship between different ice properties and loads on structures.

Sea ice

Remote sensing

Ice-structure interactions

Ice strain

Ice roads


Dyre Oliver Dammann

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Andrew R. Mahoney

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Mark Johnson

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Hajo Eicken

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Leif Eriksson

Geoscience and Remote Sensing

Franz J. Meyer

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Emily Fedders

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Mark Fahnestock

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Proceedings of the International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions, POAC

03766756 (ISSN) 20777841 (eISSN)

Vol. 2021-June
9781713841005 (ISBN)

26th International Conference on Port and Ocean Engineering under Arctic Conditions, POAC 2021
Moscow, Russia,

Unfolding Sea Ice Dynamics with SAR

Swedish National Space Board (192/15), 2016-01-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Subject Categories

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Physical Geography

Geosciences, Multidisciplinary



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