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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 1 | Copyright
The Cryosphere, 12, 343-364, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-12-343-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Jan 2018

Research article | 26 Jan 2018

Estimation of degree of sea ice ridging based on dual-polarized C-band SAR data

Alexandru Gegiuc, Markku Similä, Juha Karvonen, Mikko Lensu, Marko Mäkynen, and Jouni Vainio Alexandru Gegiuc et al.
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Marine Research, Erik Palménin aukio 1, 00560 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. For ship navigation in the Baltic Sea ice, parameters such as ice edge, ice concentration, ice thickness and degree of ridging are usually reported daily in manually prepared ice charts. These charts provide icebreakers with essential information for route optimization and fuel calculations. However, manual ice charting requires long analysis times, and detailed analysis of large areas (e.g. Arctic Ocean) is not feasible. Here, we propose a method for automatic estimation of the degree of ice ridging in the Baltic Sea region, based on RADARSAT-2 C-band dual-polarized (HH/HV channels) SAR texture features and sea ice concentration information extracted from Finnish ice charts. The SAR images were first segmented and then several texture features were extracted for each segment. Using the random forest method, we classified them into four classes of ridging intensity and compared them to the reference data extracted from the digitized ice charts. The overall agreement between the ice-chart-based degree of ice ridging and the automated results varied monthly, being 83, 63 and 81% in January, February and March 2013, respectively. The correspondence between the degree of ice ridging reported in the ice charts and the actual ridge density was validated with data collected during a field campaign in March 2011. In principle the method can be applied to the seasonal sea ice regime in the Arctic Ocean.

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The paper demonstrates the use of SAR imagery in retrieving ice-ridging information for navigation. Based on image segmentation and several texture features extracted from SAR, we perform a classification into four ridging categories from level ice to heavily ridged ice. We compare our results with the manually drawn ice charts over the Baltic Sea. We conclude that the SAR-based product is more detailed than FIS and can be used by ships (non-icebreakers) to aid independent navigation.
The paper demonstrates the use of SAR imagery in retrieving ice-ridging information for...
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