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Comparison of ice/water classification in Fram Strait from C- and L-band SAR imagery

Journal article
Authors Wiebke Aldenhoff
Céline Heuzé
Leif E.B. Eriksson
Published in Annals of Glaciology
Volume 59
Issue 76pt2
Pages 112-123
ISSN 0260-3055
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 112-123
Language en
Keywords ice and climate, polar and subpolar oceans, sea ice
Subject categories Physical Geography, Climate Research, Remote sensing, Oceanography


In this paper an algorithm for ice/water classification of C- and L-band dual polarization synthetic aperture radar data is presented. A comparison of the two different frequencies is made in order to investigate the potential to improve classification results with multi-frequency data. The algorithm is based on backscatter intensities in co- and cross-polarization and autocorrelation as a texture feature. The mapping between image features and ice/water classification is made with a neural network. Accurate ice/water maps for both frequencies are produced by the algorithm and the results of two frequencies generally agree very well. Differences are found in the marginal ice zone, where the time difference between acquisitions causes motion of the ice pack. C-band reliably reproduces the outline of the ice edge, while L-band has its strengths for thin ice/calm water areas within the icepack. The classification shows good agreement with ice/water maps derived from ice-charts and radiometer data from AMSR-2. Variations are found in the marginal ice zone where the generalization of the ice charts and lower accuracy of ice concentration from radiometer data introduce deviations. Usage of high-resolution dual frequency data could be beneficial for improving ice cover information for navigation and modelling.

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