Sea ice

  • Dorothy K. Hall
  • Jaroslav Martinec


Sea ice (Figs 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3) is present over approximately 13% of the Earth’s ocean surface (Weeks, 1981). It is a highly variable feature and its presence or absence at any given time has a profound effect on the Earth’s radiation budget. The albedo of ice-covered ocean is dramatically higher than that of open water. Additionally, the ice cover is an insulating layer between the ocean and atmosphere; heat loss through open water is approximately 100 times greater than heat loss through thick ice. As a consequence, leads and polynyas (linear and non-linear openings in sea ice) are significant to the energy budget of the ice-covered ocean and to local and regional climatology. Such open water areas and areas of reduced ice concentration are also important for shipping in ice-covered seas.


Weddell Polynya Side Look Radar 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barnes, J.C., Bowley, C.J., Chang, D.T. and Willard, J.H. (1974) Application of satellite visible and infrared data to mapping sea ice. In Advanced Concepts in the Study of Snow and Ice Resources, (eds H.S. Santeford and J.L. Smith) US International Hydrological Decade, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, pp. 467–476.Google Scholar
  2. Bryan, M.L. (1976) Interpretation key for SAR (L-band) imagery of sea ice, Proceedings of the American Society of Photogrammetry Fall Convention, 28 September – 1 October 1976, Seattle, WA, pp. 406–435.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, W.J., Weeks, W.F. Ramseier, R.O. and Gloersen, P. (1975) Geophysical studies of floating ice by remote sensing. J. Glaciol, 15, 305–28.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell, W.J., Wayenberg, J. and Ramseyer, J.B. et al.(1978) Microwave remote sensing of sea ice in the AIDJEX main experiment. Boundary-Layer Meteorol., 13, 309–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carsey, F.D. (1980) Microwave observations of the Weddell Polynya. Mon. Weather Rev., 108, 2032–2044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cavalieri, D.J., Gloersen, P. and Campbell, W.J. (1984) Determination of sea ice parameters with the Nimbus-7 SMMR. J. Geophys. Res., 89, 5355–5369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Comiso, J.C. and Zwally, H.J. (1982) Antarctic sea ice concentrations inferred from Nimbus-5 ESMR and Landsat imagery. J. Geophys. Res., 87, 5836–5844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crawford, J. P. and Parkinson, C.L. (1981) Wintertime microwave observations of the North Polar polynya. In Oceanography from Space(ed. J.F.R. Gower) Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York, pp. 839–844.Google Scholar
  9. Dey, B. (1980) Applications of satellite thermal infrared images for monitoring North Water during the periods of polar darkness. J. Glaciol., 25, 425–438.Google Scholar
  10. Dey, B. (1981) Monitoring winter sea ice dynamics in the Canadian Arctic with NOAA TIR images. J. Geophys. Res., 86, 3223–3235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dunbar, M. (1975) Interpretation of SLAR imagery of sea ice in Nares Strait and the Arctic Ocean. J. Glaciol., 15, 193–213.Google Scholar
  12. Dunbar, M. (1979) Fall ice drift in Nares Strait, as observed by sideways-looking airborne radar. Arctic, 32, 283–307.Google Scholar
  13. Elachi, C. (1980) Spaceborne imaging radar: geologic and oceanographic applications. Science, 209, 1073–1082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fu, L.L. and Holt, B. (1982) Seasat views oceans and sea ice with synthetic aperture radar, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, JPL publication 81–120.Google Scholar
  15. Gloersen, P., Wilheit, T.T., Chang, T.C. and Nordberg, W. (1975) Microwave maps of the polar ice of the Earth. In Climate of the Arctic, (eds G. Weller and S. A. Bowling), Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Alaska Science Conference, 15–17 August, 1973, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK, pp. 407–414.Google Scholar
  16. Gow, A., Ackley, S.F. Weeks, W.F. and Gavoni, J.W. (1982) Physical and structural characteristics of Antarctic sea ice. Ann. Glaciol, 3, 113–117.Google Scholar
  17. Hengeveld, H.G. (1974) Remote sensing applications in Canadian ice reconnaissance. In Advanced Concepts in the Study of Snow and Ice Resources, (eds H.S. Santeford and J.L. Smith ), US International Hydrological Decade, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, pp. 504–512.Google Scholar
  18. Hibler, W.D. III, Ackley, S.F. and Crowder, W.K. et al.(1974) Analysis of shear zone deformation in the Beaufort Sea using satellite imagery. In The Coast and the Shelf of the Beaufort Sea(eds J.C. Reed and J.E. Sater) Proceedings of a symposium on Beaufort Sea Coast and Shelf Research, Arctic Institute of North America, Arlington, VA, pp. 285–296.Google Scholar
  19. Ito, H. and Muller, F. (1982) Ice movement through Smith Sound in northern Baffin Bay, Canada observed in satellite imagery. J. Glaciol., 28, 129–143.Google Scholar
  20. Ketchum, R.D. (1983) Dual frequency radar ice and snow signatures. J. Glaciol., 29, 286–295.Google Scholar
  21. Kurtz, D.D. and Bromwich, D.H. (1983) Satellite observed behavior of the Terra Nova Bay polynya. J. Geophys. Res., 88, 9717–9722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Langham, E.J. (1982) RADARS AT - Canada’s program for operational remote sensing. J. Remote Sensing, 8, 29–37.Google Scholar
  23. Leberl, F. (1983) Photogrammetric aspects of remote sensing with imaging radar. Remote Sensing Rev. 1, 71–158.Google Scholar
  24. Leberl, F., Bryan, M.L. and Elachi, C. et al.(1979) Mapping of sea ice and measurement of its drift using aircraft Synthetic Aperture Radar images. J. Geophys. Res., 84, 1827–1835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Leberl, F., Raggam, J., Elachi, C. and Campbell, W.J. (1983) Sea ice motion measurements from SEASAT SAR images. J. Geophys. Res., 88, 1915–1928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lyden, J.D., Burns, B.A. and Maffett, A.L. (1984) Characterization of sea ice types using synthetic aperture radar. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sensing, GE-22, 431–439.Google Scholar
  27. Martinson, D. G., Kill worth, P. D. and Gordon,A.L.(1981)A convective model for the Weddell polynya. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 11, 466–488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Parkinson, C.L. (1983) On the development and cause of the Weddell Polynya in a sea ice simulation. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 13, 501–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pounder, E.R. (1965) Physics of Ice, Pergamon Press, Oxford, England.Google Scholar
  30. Rango, A., Greaves, J.R. and DeRyke, R.J. (1973) Observations of Arctic sea ice dynamics using the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS-1). Arctic, 26, 337–339.Google Scholar
  31. Wadhams, P., Martin, S., Johannessen, O.M. et al. (1981) MIZEX, A Program for Mesoscale Air - Ice - Ocean Interaction Experiments in Arctic Marginal Ice Zones, 1. Research Strategy, US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH, CRREL SP-81-19.Google Scholar
  32. Weeks, W.F. (1981) Sea ice: the potential of remote sensing. Oceanus, 24, 39–48.Google Scholar
  33. Zwally, H.J. and Gloersen, P. (1977) Passive microwave images of the polar regions and research applications. Polar Rec., 18, 431–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zwally, H.J., Comiso, J.C. and Parkinson, C.L. et al. (1983a) Antarctic Sea Ice, 1973–1976: Satellite Passive Microwave Observations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC, NASA SP-459.Google Scholar
  35. Zwally, H.J., Parkinson, C.L. and Comiso, J.C. (1983b) Variability of Antarctic sea ice and changes in carbon dioxide. Science, 220, 1005–1012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zwally, H.J. (1984) Observing polar ice variability. Ann. Glaciol., 5, 191–198.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. and J. Martinec 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy K. Hall
  • Jaroslav Martinec

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations