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Sea Ice Volume and Thickness

Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Maps

Arctic sea ice thickness processed at UCL from CryoSat's SAR mode data:

Latest from Near Real Time Data   Final Precise Data
2-days 14-days

NRT Service only operates during the Arctic winter season (Oct-May). During summer CryoSat's radar can not measure thickness effectively due to the formation of melt ponds in the sea ice.

17-Oct-16: NRT Sea Ice thickness service restarted for the Winter season.

Latest 5km Grid of 28-day Thickness : 3/11/16 - 30/11/16

DATA

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NRT

Click in map for
local and basin thickness
time series

How is Sea Ice Thickness derived from CryoSat?

CryoSat uses a synthetic aperture radar to sample a much smaller footprint than previous satellite radar altimeters. This allows us to discriminate between sea ice floes and ocean leads with confidence which, in turn, means we can measure their shape.

From this, we can compute sea ice thickness and volume using independent measurements of the ice age, density, and snow loading.

This measurement technique works in autumn, winter and spring. In summer, melt ponds prevent us from estimating sea ice thickness