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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.

Latest 5km Grid of 28-day Thickness : 10/3/20 - 6/4/20


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Click in map for
local and basin thickness
time series

Note that the 2, 14 and 28-day sea ice thickness maps are processed from CryoSat Near Real Time (NRT) data. These are preliminary fast access products which do not use all the precise corrections available in the final products, available 30 days later. The archive of monthly sea ice thickness products use the precise final CryoSat data as soon as it is available.

Product Format

The data format and further information on the sea ice thickness product can be found in this document:



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