ARISE (Antarctic Remote Ice Sensing Experiment) in the East 2003: validation of satellite-derived sea-ice data products
Massom, RA and Worby, A and Lytle, V and Markus, T and Allison, I and Scambos, T and Enomoto, H and Tateyama, K and Haran, T and Comiso, JC and Pfaffling, A and Tamura, T and Muto, A and Kanagaratnam, P and Giles, B and Young, N and Hyland, G and Key, E, ARISE (Antarctic Remote Ice Sensing Experiment) in the East 2003: validation of satellite-derived sea-ice data products, Annals of Glaciology, 44 pp. 288-296. ISSN 0260-3055 (2006) [Refereed Article]
Preliminary results are presented from the first validation of geophysical data products (ice concentration, snow thickness on sea ice (hs) and ice temperature (TI) from the NASA EOS Aqua AMSR-E sensor, in East Antarctica (in September-October 2003). The challenge of collecting sufficient measurements with which to validate the coarse-resolution AMSR-E data products adequately was addressed by means of a hierarchical approach, using detailed in situ measurements, digital aerial photography and other satellite data. Initial results from a circumnavigation of the experimental site indicate that, at least under cold conditions with a dry snow cover, there is a reasonably close agreement between satellite- and aerial-photo-derived ice concentrations, i.e. 97.2 ± 3.6% for NT2 and 96.5 ± 2.5% for BBA algorithms vs 94.3% for the aerial photos. In general, the AMSR-E concentration represents a slight overestimate of the actual concentration, with the largest discrepancies occurring in regions containing a relatively high proportion of thin ice. The AMSR-E concentrations from the NT2 and BBA algorithms are similar on average, although differences of up to 5% occur in places, again related to thin-ice distribution. The AMSR-E ice temperature (TI) product agrees with coincident surface measurements to approximately 0.5°C in the limited dataset analyzed. Regarding snow thickness, the AMSR hs, retrieval is a significant underestimate compared to in situ measurements weighted by the percentage of thin ice (and open water) present. For the case study analyzed, the underestimate was 46% for the overall average, but 23% compared to smooth-ice measurements. The spatial distribution of the AMSR-E hsproduct follows an expected and consistent spatial pattern, suggesting that the observed difference may be an offset (at least under freezing conditions). Areas of discrepancy are identified, and the need for future work using the more extensive dataset is highlighted.