Abstract's details

A new approach for the retrieval of lake ice thickness from satellite altimetry missions: Results from the ESA CCI+ Lakes and S6JTEX projects

Anna Mangilli (CLS, France)


Pierre Thibaut (CLS, France); Claude Duguay (University of Waterloo and H2O Geomatics, Canada); Justin Murfitt (University of Waterloo, Canada)

Event: 2022 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting

Session: Science IV: Altimetry for Cryosphere and Hydrology

Presentation type: Type Poster

Contribution: PDF file


Lake ice thickness (LIT) is recognized as an Essential Climate Variable (ECV) by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). LIT is a sensitive indicator of weather and climate conditions through its dependency on changes in air temperature and on-ice snow depth. The monitoring of seasonal variations and trends in ice thickness is not only important from a climate change perspective, but it is also relevant for the operation of winter ice roads that northern communities rely on. Yet, field measurements tend to be sparse in both space and time, and many northern countries have seen an erosion of in situ observational networks over the last three decades. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop retrieval algorithms from satellite remote sensing to provide consistent, broad-scale and regular monitoring of LIT at northern high latitudes in the face of climate change.

This talk presents a novel, physically-based retracking approach for the estimation of LIT by using conventional low-resolution mode (LRM) and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) Ku-band radar altimetry data. Details will be provided about the formalism of the LRM and SAR LIT retracking methods and assessment of retrieved ice thickness using thermodynamical simulations and in-situ data. Results will focus on LIT estimation obtained using Jason-2, Jason-3, and Sentinel-6 data over Great Slave Lake (Canada) for different winter seasons. Finally, the talk will highlight how these methods significantly improve the accuracy of the LIT estimations, paving the way towards regular and robust LIT monitoring with current and future LRM and SAR altimetry missions.

The LRM_LIT algorithm has been developed in the framework of the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative (CCI+) Lakes project and is currently being implemented for the production of LIT time series from LRM data for Phase 2 of the project starting in June 2022. These data will be publicly available to the scientific community through a dedicated data platform, following the project schedule (2022-2025). The SAR_LIT algorithm is being developed within the ESA S6JTEX project that aims at enhancing the scientific return of the tandem phase between the Jason-3 and Sentinel-6 reference missions, allowing for continuity of observations across 30 years of conventional altimetry (from Topex or ERS in 1992) and SAR altimetry data, started with Cryosat-2 and now Sentinel-3 or Sentinel-6 missions.

A new approach for the retrieval of lake ice thickness from satellite altimetry missions: Results from the ESA CCI+ Lakes and S6JTEX projects

Poster show times:

Room Start Date End Date
Mezzanine Tue, Nov 01 2022,17:15 Tue, Nov 01 2022,18:15
Mezzanine Thu, Nov 03 2022,14:00 Thu, Nov 03 2022,15:45
Anna Mangilli