On the potential of hand-held GPS tracking of fjord ice features for remote-sensing validation
Research on young thin sea ice is essential to understand the changes in the Arctic. But it is also the most challenging to investigate, both in situ and from satellites. If satellite remote sensing techniques are developing rapidly, fieldwork remains crucial for the mandatory validation of such data. In April 2016, an Arctic fieldwork campaign was conducted at Kongsfjorden, Svalbard. This campaign provided an opportunity to combine various techniques to record the fjord ice properties ranging from local field sampling to broader ground-based and satellite radar remote sensing of the fjord. Tracking the boat used to access the field sites with hand-held GPS devices offered a good opportunity to map fjord ice and assess the limits of radar identification of small icebergs and thin ice. During one week, 17 icebergs and the thin ice edges in two different locations were mapped. The GPS tracks present a good agreement with the Radarsat-2 data analysis for one of the two ice edges. The second ice edge track only partly corresponds the radar scene. Ice movement, recorded by a ground-based radar, is likely to explain this result. Grounded icebergs could be identified in both Radarsat-2 and ground-based radar.
Source at https://doi.org/10.1017/aog.2017.35 .