This dataset contains gridded daily surface melt data for Antarctica estimated from passive microwave observations from the Scanning Microwave Multichannel Radiometer (SMMR), the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I), and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS) spaceborne sensors and covering the 1978-2017 period. Also provided are the latitudes and longitudes of the grid and computed melt days for each austral summer (Dec-Jan-Feb) during the period.
Funding was provided by NSF grants PLR 1341695 and PLR 1443443.
Antarctica, Melt, Passive microwave, SMMR, SSMI
Nicolas, J. (2018). Antarctic daily surface melt data estimated from SMMR, SSM/I, and SSMIS passive microwave observations, 1978-2016 (Version None) [Data set]. Polar Data Centre, Natural Environment Research Council, UK. https://doi.org/10.5285/ffd24dd7-e201-4a02-923f-038680bf7bb5
|Access Constraints:||No restrictions apply.|
|ISO Topic Categories:||
|Organisation||British Antarctic Survey|
|Name||Julien P Nicolas|
|Role(s)||Investigator, Technical Contact|
|Organisation||Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University|
|Organisation||Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University|
|Reference:||Abdalati, W., Steffen, K., Otto, C., & Jezek, K. C. (1995). Comparison of brightness temperatures from SSMI instruments on the DMSP F8 and FII satellites for Antarctica and the Greenland ice sheet. Int. J. Remote Sens., 16(7), 1223-1229. https://doi.org/10.1080/01431169508954473
Armstrong, R., Knowles, K., Brodzik, M. J., & Hardman, M. A. (1994). DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS Pathfinder Daily EASE-Grid Brightness Temperatures, Version 2. NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5067/3EX2U1DV3434
Jezek, K. C., Merry, C., Cavalieri, D., Grace, S., Bedner, J., Wilson, D., & Lampkin, D. (1991). Comparison Between SMMR and SSM/I Passive Microwave Data Collected Over the Antarctic Ice Sheet (BPRC Technical Report). Columbus, Ohio, USA: Byrd Polar Research Center. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1811/47882
Knowles, K., Njoku, E. G., Armstrong, R., & Brodzik, M. J. (2000). Nimbus-7 SMMR Pathfinder Daily EASE-Grid Brightness Temperatures, Version 1. Boulder, Colorado, USA: NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5067/36SLCSCZU7N6
Liu, H., Wang, L., & Jezek, K. C. (2006). Spatiotemporal variations of snowmelt in Antarctica derived from satellite scanning multichannel microwave radiometer and Special Sensor Microwave Imager data (1978-2004). J. Geophys. Res., 111(F1), F01003. https://doi.org/10.1029/2005JF000318
Nicolas, J. P., Vogelmann, A. M., Scott, R. C., Wilson, A. B., Cadeddu, M. P., Bromwich, D. H., et al. (2017). January 2016 extensive summer melt in West Antarctica favoured by strong El Niño. Nat. Commun., 8, 15799. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15799
Picard, G., & Fily, M. (2006). Surface melting observations in Antarctica by microwave radiometers: Correcting 26-year time series from changes in acquisition hours. Remote Sens. Environ., 104(3), 325-336. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2006.05.010
Stroeve, J., Maslanik, J., & Xiaoming, L. (1998). An intercomparison of DMSP F11- and F13-derived sea ice products. Remote Sens. Environ., 64(2), 132-152. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0034-4257(97)00174-0
Tedesco, M. (2009). Assessment and development of snowmelt retrieval algorithms over Antarctica from K-band spaceborne brightness temperature (1979-2008). Remote Sens. Environ., 113(5), 979-997. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2009.01.009
Torinesi, O., Fily, M., & Genthon, C. (2003). Variability and trends of the summer melt period of Antarctic ice margins since 1980 from microwave sensors. J. Climate, 16(7), 1047-1060. https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(2003)016<1047:VATOTS>2.0.CO;2
|Quality:||Uncertainties could not be estimated for this dataset.|
|Lineage:||Surface melt occurrence was estimated from brightness temperature (Tb) measurments from the following spaceborne sensors:
- Scanning Microwave Multichannel Radiometer (SMMR) onboard the Nimbus-7 satellite (1978-1987);
- Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) onboard successive satellites (F-8, F-11, and F13) from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP; 1987-2009);
- Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder (SSMIS) onboard DMSP F-17 satellite (2006-present).
The data were obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Center on its South-Hemisphere Equal-Area Scalable Earth (EASE) Grid with a nominal resolution of 25 km, corresponding to NSIDC datasets 0071 (Armstrong et al., 1994) and 0032 (Knowles et al., 2000).
To identify surface melt, we used horizontally polarized Tb data in the K-band (18 GHz for SMMR, 19 GHz for SSM/I-SSMIS). These data were available twice-daily (from the ascending and descending satellite passes). Data gaps were filled (only if they did not exceed one day) by linearly interpolating the data from the two adjacent days. This was particularly important for SMMR data, which are available only every other day. To ensure temporal consistency of the melt data across the various sensors, all SMMR and SSM/I data were calibrated with respect to SSMIS F-17 using the regression coefficients derived by Jezek et al. (1991), Abdalati et al. (1995), Stroeve et al. (1998), and Nicolas et al. (2017).
The melt detection algorithm is similar to the one used by Nicolas et al. (2017). For a given grid cell and a given day, melt was identified as soon as one of the two daily Tb observations exceeded a threshold value (Tb melt) defined as Tb melt = Tb ref + deltaT, where deltaT = 30 K and Tb ref is a reference temperature. The value of deltaT was based on the work from Tedesco (2009). Tb ref was calculated as the 12-month average from 1 April-31 March after filtering out all melt days, as in Torinesi et al. (2003).
The data are provided on a reduced 200 x 300 grid (referred to as 'es25r grid') that is a subset of NSIDC's original 721 x 721 25-km South-Hemisphere EASE Grid (https://nsidc.org/data/ease). In our es25r grid, the first row corresponds to row 257 of the original grid and the first column corresponds to column 251 of the original grid. The resolution is 25 x 25 km.
The es25r grid covers the full range of longitudes (180°W to +180°E), and extends from the South Pole (90°S) to cover the Antarctic continent and ice shelves, with a Northern boundary at varying latitudes between 68.5°S and 53.8°S.
SMMR - Scanning Microwave Multichannel Radiometer
SSM/I - Special Sensor Microwave/Imager
SSMIS - Special Sensor Microwave Imager Sounder
|Data Storage:||Dataset structure and file naming convention:
- The directory daily_melt contains files holding daily melt data. Each file containing daily melt data covers one year, from 1 April of year N to 31 March of year N+1, with the exception of the first and last files.
- In the daily melt data filenames, the year refers to year N. For example, the file named melt_2000.nc contains data from 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001.
- The directory computed_meltdays contains files holding the total melt days for each austral summer (Dec-Jan-Feb) during the period covered by this dataset. Each file contains the total melt days for a single austral summer. Since prolonged periods with missing data can have a significant on the results, meltdays were marked as missing (-1) over the entire domain when 7 days or more were missing in the satellite record during a given summer.
- The computed melt day data filenames include the start and end dates of the relevant austral summer period in the form YYYY-MM-DD. For example, the file meltdays_2000-12-01_to_2001-02-28.nc contains data for the period 1 December 2000 to 28 February 2001.
- The directory latlon contains files holding the longitudes (in file lons_es25r.nc) and latitudes (in file lats_es25r.nc) for the grid points on which the data are provided.
- The daily melt data and computed melt days are encoded as 8-bit integers (bytes).
- For the daily melt data, 1 means that melt was detected during the corresponding day, 0 means that it was not detected.