Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONET)



X-band marine radars are used to monitor near-shore ice off both Barrow and Wales within the ideally determined range of 6km. Data from these radars rely on backscatter from ridges, floe edges and other roughness elements not in the shadow of other such features. Coastal sea-ice radars provide information on ice movement and deformation at temporal and spatial resolutions that allow for monitoring the near-real-time evolution of landfast ice, assessing ice stability, and characterizing ice breakout events. Radar data is recorded locally before being transferred via ftp to the University of Alaska Fairbanks where images are geolocated, made available online, and archived by AOOS.

Mounted immediately beneath each radar is a webcam that overlooks the coast and provides near-real-time online pictures of local ice conditions out to a few kilometers. These cameras provide a continuous visual archive of key dates in the seasonal evolution of the local sea-ice cover, including the onset of fall ice formation, onset of spring melt, appearance of melt ponds, beginning of ice break-up in early summer, and removal or advection of sea ice during the summer months.

Radar images, daily 24-hour radar animations, and the webcam feed are available on the Internet at:

Barrow: www.gi.alaska.edu/snowice/sea-lake-ice/Barrow_observatory.html
Wales: www.gi.alaska.edu/snowice/sea-lake-ice/Wales_observatory.html
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
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