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Improved Characterization of Sea Ice with Combined NPP VIIRS and MODIS EOS: Focus on Leads and Polynyas


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We have developed and implemented an automatic algorithm which produces a daily sea ice map combining multiple observations per dayover high latitudes from MODIS/Aqua, MODIS/Terra and VIIRS/NPP as first proposed. Beyond what was proposed, we fuse the imagers with microwave data from AMSR-2/GCOM-W1 to create our Microwave/Imager Sea Ice Classifier (MISIC) daily product. In addition, the algorithm produces intermediate products for each imager pass including a three-feature high-resolution image viewable in false color image facilitating visual discrimination ice and water even when partially obscured by thin clouds while still revealing leads and polynyas. The algorithm produces a per-pass fused imager-microwave product for discrimination between ocean surface type even beneath clouds. All these products were designed to provide better guidance for NIC interactive products. Code implementing MISIC and regional Beaufort, Chukchi and Ross Sea results have been delivered to NIC for evaluation. As proposed we developed, a web-based monitoring system for MISIC products, as well as providing other currently available ice extent products for comparison. We have submitted a paper for publication along with a thorough evaluation of MISIC. In the project provided training and experience to PhD, Masters and undergraduate students.



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