04 Sep 2023
 | 04 Sep 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A 12-Year Climate Record of Wintertime Wave-Affected Marginal Ice Zones in the Atlantic Arctic based on CryoSat-2

Weixin Zhu, Siqi Liu, Shiming Xu, and Lu Zhou

Abstract. Wave-affected marginal ice zone (MIZ) is an integral part of the sea ice cover and key to the atmosphere-ice-ocean interaction in the polar region. While we mainly rely on in-situ campaigns for studying MIZs, great challenges still exist for the remote sensing of the MIZs by satellites. In this study we develop a novel retrieval algorithm for wave-affected MIZs based on the delay-Doppler radar altimeter onboard CryoSat-2 (CS2). CS2 waveform power and the waveform stack statistics are used to determine the part of the ice cover affected by waves. Based on the CS2 data since 2010, we generate a climate record of wave-affected MIZs in the Atlantic Arctic, spanning 12 winters between 2010 and 2022. As indicated by the MIZ record, no significant change of either the mean MIZ width or the extreme width is detected, although large temporal and spatial variability is present. In particular, extremely wide MIZs (over 300 km) are observed in the Barents Sea, while in other part of the Atlantic Arctic, MIZs are generally narrower. We also compare the CS2-based retrieval with those based on the laser altimeter of ICESat2 and the synthetic aperture radar images from Sentinel-1. Under spatial and temporal collocation, we attain good agreement among the MIZ retrievals based on the three different types of satellite payloads. Moreover, the traditional sea ice concentration based definition MIZ yields systematically narrower MIZs than CS2, and there is no statistically significant correlation between the two. Besides CS2, the proposed retrieval algorithm can be adapted for various historical and future radar altimetry campaigns. The synergy of multiple satellites can further improve the spatial and temporal representation of the altimeters' observation of the MIZs.

Weixin Zhu, Siqi Liu, Shiming Xu, and Lu Zhou

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-243', Anonymous Referee #1, 04 Oct 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Shiming Xu, 19 Dec 2023
      • RC3: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Dec 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2023-243', Guillaume Boutin, 28 Nov 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Shiming Xu, 19 Dec 2023
Weixin Zhu, Siqi Liu, Shiming Xu, and Lu Zhou

Data sets

Climate Record of Wintertime Wave-Affected Marginal Ice Zones in the Atlantic Arctic based on CryoSat-2,2010-2022 Weixin Zhu, Siqi Liu, Shiming Xu and Lu Zhou

Weixin Zhu, Siqi Liu, Shiming Xu, and Lu Zhou


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Short summary
In the polar ocean, wind waves generate and propagate into the sea ice cover, forming marginal ice zones (MIZ). By using ESA's CryoSat-2, we construct a 12-year dataset of the MIZ in the Atlantic Arctic, a key region for climate change and human activities. The dataset is validated with high-resolution observations by ICESat2 and Sentinel-1. Over 300 km-wide MIZs are found under heavy storms in Barents Sea. The new dataset serves as the basis for research areas including wave-ice interactions.