Snow on Antarctic Sea Ice

Marta Stentella

Research Areas

Glaciology, Ocean-Sea Ice-Atmosphere, Radiative Transfer

Project Brief

Ocean wave-ice interaction is a dominant process in characterizing the Antarctic sea ice including the seasonal evolution of the sea ice extent. Wave interaction is a process that defines the Marginal Ice Zone, which separates the blue water from the established pack ice. Wave action also gives rise to the overwash of the sea ice, wetting the sea-ice surface and with it of any snow that may be present on top of the sea ice. This overwash does affect the morphology of the snow cover and the upper ice surface and may support the formation of meltponds on
the sea ice. All these will change the radiative transfer of microwaves at the sea-ice surface and will modify the microwave remotely sensed signature of the snow and the sea ice.
This project will research if the modification of the snow (and sea ice surface) induces microwave signatures that can be detected by satellite-based radar and microwave radiometers. We also will use data from satellite-borne altimeters (i.e., ICESat-2) to correlate these marginal-ice zone processes, such as wave invasion into the sea-ice zone.