Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONET)

  Sea ice thickness is one of the most important and most poorly sampled state variables of the ice cover. Limitations to satellite retrieval of ice thickness and submarine sonar surveys necessitate survey measurements, in particular in the data-sparse seasonal ice zone. Ice-profiling sonar data on the Beaufort Shelf indicate that despite summer ice-extent reductions, the change in ice thickness over that same time period is minimal (Melling et al. 2005). Hence, we conduct ice thickness and property surveys (incl. albedo as a key variable) that are part of a coordinated long-term program in the Okhotsk, Chukchi/Beaufort, Lincoln Seas, and Fram Strait (see SIZONet map). The surveys are flown out of Barrow along transects with a towed electromagnetic-induction (EM) instrument. Recent work has demonstrated the value of such repeat surveys (Haas et al. 2008), beyond simple validation of remote-sensing data.

In conjunction with ice cores, this work provides data on dynamic thickening, ice age and origins (Eicken 1998; Pfirman et al. 2004). Ground-based EM, snow-depth and ice property surveys are carried out at the main Barrow site. Our work on links between ice morphology, snow depth and summer ice albedo (Eicken et al. 2004; Petrich et al., subm.) has demonstrated the value of collecting such co-located data sets.

Link directly to theAerial thickness data.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
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