Enhanced Arctic Sea Ice Information

Enhanced Arctic Sea Ice Information

mission
The objective of this service is to link different EO derived information products with on-going European information access initiatives. Products for sea-ice extent and concentration in the target area are currently routinely available (Polar View, MyOcean, OSI SAF).

However, near real-time information in fine scale (1-3 km) about sea ice drift with ice deformation rates, ice types and thickness in the area is scarce. The objective of the service is to improve the current situation in this respect. The prototype products are intended for public organisations with an Arctic monitoring mandate as well as commercial users. The introduced products can also be used as input for weather forecasting and sea ice models.

 

service at the end of the project

At the end of this project, the ice drift and ice thickness products will be made on an operational basis.

The service is available at www.arcice.org.

 

service details

The Project will address requirements for improved information services in the areas of Arctic Monitoring. This shall include new information products (ice drift maps, ice thickness maps). Products for sea-ice extent and concentration in the target area are currently routinely available (Polar View, MyOcean, OSI SAF). However, near real-time information in fine scale (1-5 km) about sea ice drift with ice deformation rates, ice types and thickness in the area is scarce. The objective of the service is to improve the current situation in this respect.

  • Main Benefits for users

     

    The prototype products are intended for public organisations with an Arctic monitoring mandate as well as for commercial users. The introduced products can also be used as input for weather forecasting and sea ice models.

    Seasonal openings of Arctic waters provide new opportunities for maritime transport industry, fishing industry, and other offshore activities. These actors will rely on accurate near real time information on Arctic sea-ice met-ocean conditions in order to operate safely and efficiently. The provision of sea-ice extent information for the areas can be provided upon request by several providers, while information on near real time ice-thickness is still at the development stage for Arctic regions. Technology already developed for Baltic Sea first year ice conditions will be modified and extended with the objective of reaching operational readiness by the completion of the contract.

    In the case of Arctic Monitoring, this shall include new information products (ice drift maps, ice thickness maps) and a prototype web coverage processing capability to link (support) different EO derived information products with on-going information access initiatives in the framework of the EU Arctic Region Initiative (COM 2008 763), European Environment Agency initiatives with respect to the Arctic Environment (EEA Environmental Issue Report 38) and the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme of the Arctic Council.

  • Areas of Interest

     

    Geographic scope is Barents Sea and Kara Sea. The target users include commercial, shipping, fishing vessel operators, coastal directorates and navies.

    The ice drift in the Kara Sea between 1 and 3 March 2009 is shown with deformation (red) / divergence (blue) zones indicated. Only a part of the service area is covered.

     

  • Service Chain Description

     

    The Enhanced Arctic Sea Ice service chain diagram.

    • Input Data

       

      • EO:
        • RADARSAT-2 data downlinked in Tromsø, Svalbard or Grimstad. Level1b processing performed in Tromsø.
        • ECMWF numerical weather prediction (NWP) model data from ECMWF via FMI.
        • HIGHTSI ice model run at FMI based on ECMWF.
        • AMSR2 radiometer data is automatically retrieved from the GCOM-W1 server.

           

    • EO Data Processing

       

      • SAR preprocessing (georectification, calibration, incidence angle correction), SAR mosaicking. Ice drift algorithm for SAR mosaics, based on two-resolution phase correlation. Thin ice detection algorithm using radiometer data (AMSR).

         

      • No in-Situ data will be used operatively.

         

      • Value added Processing

         

        • Computation of quantities derived from the ice drift: divergence/convergence, shear, curl, total deformation, these values can indicate present or near future ice compression.

           

        • The assimilation of the model data (HIGHTSI) and SAR data. The construction of the sea ice thickness chart using several satellite sensors (SAR, HIGHTSI, AMSR2).

           

    • Quality Control

       

      The computational models are well-defined and tried in several projects. The data is cross-validated with other data by users and the service owner.

    • Data Integration and Assimilation

       

      Products are output either in GeoTIFF or NetCDF formats. The ice drift NetCDF contains the gridded ice drift U- and V-coordinates, and a quality value for each grid cell. The ice drift thematic map shows the ice drift vectors in a map projection. The ice thickness NetCDF file contains the gridded ice thickness in cm, and a quality value for each grid cell. The ice thickness thematic map shows the colour coded ice thickness in a map projection. The default projection is the polar stereographic projection, but also data in other map projections, according to user requirements, can be delivered. The automatically detected anomalies in the ice thickness chart are marked using the quality control flag.

    • Data Dissemination

       

      • Output Product Specification:

         

        • As described above (data products) and below (Delivery).

           

      • Delivery:

         

        • The data is delivered through the dedicated web browser interface (through a link from the ANISTIAMO web site at KSAT) or by ftp push or pull through a protected ftp connection. The users are notified by email on a new available product in their AOI.

           

      • Performances

         

        • Update time: 24-72 hours.

           

        • Response time: > 12 hours.

           

        • Delivery time: 3-6 hours after satellite pass.

           

        • Accuracy: ± 20 % for ice drift,  ± 30 % for thickness

           

         
    • Future

       

      With increasing activities in the Arctic area, the user requirements shall be growing even in the following three year term after Phase 2 of this project, especially from oil and gas offshore industry (see RD-4). Today it looks like next areas of interest excluding existing areas like Kara Sea, Western Greenland, etc. shall be Beaufort Sea, Eastern Siberian Sea, and Northern Canadian Archipelago. The maritime transportation it is expected to grow in Northeast Passage between Europe and Asia (in 2011 new record was reached), where users are shipping industry, icebreakers, and maritime authorities.

      Depending on economic activities, we could see growth in areas all over the Arctic, and in shipping and offshore industries. This gives a boost to different supporting industries like oil spill recovery efforts and readiness. Especially maritime transportation between Asia and Europe is expected to grow.

      Depending on national and international regulations in the near future (3-10 yrs) service could be seen as one fast delivery service. Even if the service products do not have an official status, industries are using services/products, which are useful to them. Services/products shall be developed according to users’ needs, and made fully automatic.

      In about ten years span, new satellite missions shall be available, where new methods could be used. These include SAR missions with better spatial resolution, which we could expect being useful to all industries in the Arctic. Also use of other data than VIS/IR (like radiometric data) as a part of classification chain is expected to improve methods.