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Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Deformation from SAR Ice Motion (Linear Kinematic Features)
High-resolution radar imagery of the Arctic Ocean is being acquired on a routine basis. These sequential radar observations, from RADARSAT, are transformed into estimates of ice motion, deformation, age and thickness by the RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS). The RGPS data products provide basin-scale views of the deformation of the sea ice cover over entire seasons based on continuous sampling of Lagrangian elements on the ice cover. At any given time, the RGPS data products allow the visualization of all the kinematically active linear features over the Arctic Ocean. Nearly all deformations on the ice cover are localized along these features while the rest of the ice cover remains unaffected. We use the phrase Linear Kinematic Features (LKFs) as a general descriptor of these long, narrow features, whether or not they contain open water, new ice, nilas, young-ice, first-year ice, rafted ice, or ridged ice. Locally, they can be created by divergence, convergence, shear, or any combination of these processes. The amount of open water production, ridging and the thin ice thickness distribution can be estimated at these linear features.
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