Polynyas are dynamic stretches of open water surrounded by ice. They typically occur in remote regions of the Arctic and Antarctic, thus remote sensing is essential for monitoring their dynamics. On regional scales, daily passive microwave radiometers provide useful information about their extent because of their independence from cloud coverage and daylight; nonetheless, their coarse resolution often does not allow an accurate discrimination between sea ice and open water. Despite its sensitivity to the presence of clouds, thermal infrared (TIR) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) provides higher-resolution information (typically 1 km) at large swath widths, several times per day, proving to be useful for the retrieval of the size of polynyas. In this study, we deal with Aqua satellite MODIS observations of a frequently occurring coastal polynya in the Terra Nova Bay (TNB), Ross Sea (Antarctica). The potential of a new methodology for estimating the variability of this polynya through MODIS TIR during the 2010 and 2011 freezing season (April to October) is presented and discussed. The polynya is observed in more than 1600 radiance scenes, after a preliminary filter evaluates and discards cloudy and fog-contaminated scenes. This reduces the useful MODIS swaths to about 50% of the available acquisitions, but a revisit time of less than 24 h is kept for about 90% of the study period. As expected, results show a high interannual variability with an opening/closing fluctuation clearly depending on the regime of the katabatic winds recorded by the automatic weather stations Rita and Eneide along the TNB coast. Retrievals are also validated through a comparison with a set of 196 co-located high-resolution ENVISAT ASAR images. Although our estimations slightly underestimate the ASAR derived extents, a good agreement is found, the linear correlation reaching 0.75 and the average relative error being about 6%. Finally, a sensitivity test on the applied thermal thresholds supports the effectiveness of our setting.
|Titolo:||A NEW APPROACH FOR MONITORING THE TERRA NOVA BAY POLYNYA THROUGH MODIS ICE SURFACE TEMPERATURE IMAGERY AND ITS VALIDATION DURING 2010 AND 2011 WINTER SEASONS|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|