Discovery Metadata System

Year-round Arctic sea ice thickness from CryoSat-2 Baseline-D Level 1b observations 2010-2020


This dataset presents biweekly gridded sea ice thickness and uncertainty for the Arctic derived from the European Space Agency's satellite CryoSat-2. An associated 'developer's product' also includes intermediate parameters used or output in the sea ice thickness processing chain. Data are provided as biweekly grids with a resolution of 80 km, mapped onto a Northern Polar Stereographic Grid, covering the Arctic region north of 50 degrees latitude, for all months of the year between October 2010 and July 2020.

CryoSat-2 Level 1b Baseline-D observed radar waveforms have been retracked using two different approaches, one for the 'cold season' months of October-April and the second for 'melting season' months of May-September. The cold season retracking algorithm uses a numerical model for the SAR altimeter backscattered echo from snow-covered sea ice presented in Landy et al. (2019), which offers a physical treatment of the effect of ice surface roughness on retracked ice and ocean elevations. The method for optimizing echo model fits to observed CryoSat-2 waveforms, retracking waveforms, classifying returns, and deriving sea ice radar freeboard are detailed in Landy et al. (2020). The melting season retracking algorithm uses the SAMOSA+ analytical echo model with optimization to observed CryoSat-2 waveforms through the SARvatore (SAR Versatile Altimetric Toolkit for Ocean Research and Exploitation) service available through ESA Grid Processing on Demand (GPOD). The method for classifying radar returns and deriving sea ice radar freeboard in the melting season are detailed in Dawson et al. (2022).

The melting season sea ice radar freeboards require a correction for an electromagnetic range bias, as described in Landy et al. (2022). After applying the correction, year-round freeboards are converted to sea ice thickness using auxiliary satellite observations of the sea ice concentration and type, as well as snow depth and density estimates from a Lagrangian snow evolution scheme: SnowModel-LG (Stroeve et al., 2020; Liston et al., 2020). The sea ice thickness uncertainties have been estimated based on methods described in Landy et al. (2022). NetCDF files contain detailed descriptions of each parameter.

Funding was provided by the NERC PRE-MELT grant NE/T000546/1 and the ESA Living Planet Fellowship Arctic-SummIT grant ESA/4000125582/18/I-NS.

Arctic, CryoSat-2, sea ice, sea ice freeboard, sea ice thickness

Access Data




Basic Information