Physical Basis for Microwave Remote Sensing of Sea Ice and Snow
Radiative balance: The snow-covered sea ice has a very high albedo relative to that of the open ocean. Therefore, changes in sea ice extent cause drastic changes in the surface albedo of the high-latitude seas.
Surface heat: Although the fully developed ice cover is an effective insulator between the cold air and the relatively warm ocean, areas of open water and thin ice lose heat rapidly during the cold seasons (Maykut, 1986).
Ice margin processes: The abrupt transition to open water gives rise to unique processes, including water mass formation, oceanic upwelling, eddy formation, and generation of atmospheric instability (Muench et al., 1987).
Operations: Navigation and trafficability on and below the surface, drill ship operations in the marginal seas and harbor operations are concerned with locating areas of thin ice, identifying hazards such as very thick and deformed ice, and forecasting ice conditions.
KeywordsBrightness Temperature Snow Water Equivalent Liquid Water Content Dielectric Loss Factor Microwave Remote Sensing
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