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> Home > ICESat: Sea Ice Thickness and Freeboard

ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) is the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring, among other earth surface parameters, sea ice surface elevation. The 17 ICESat datasets contain nearly month-long observations of sea ice surface elevation and other radar characteristics for fall, winter, and spring periods covering the time period of winter 2003 to the present, both in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

In this project the ICESat data set is being processed:

  1. To interpret the altimetric and reflectivity profiles of the data record to allow for the identification of near ocean surface observations.
  2. To use these near-surface measurements to determine the sea ice freeboard, or the height of the surface above the ocean level, to infer sea ice thickness using model estimates of snow depth on top of the floating ice.
  3. To use these results to estimate sea ice volume and characterize the changing thickness and volume of the Arctic Ocean sea ice system.


Mail to: Ronald Kwok