Antarctic sea ice thickness: harbinger of change in the Southern Ocean

Status: Current

Dates: 2010 - Start

Māori Relevant Content: No


  • Antarctica New Zealand (Antarctic Logistics Support, 2010 - 2014)

Project Abstract

The global extent of sea ice is well known as a result of satellite remote sensing. However very little is known about sea ice volume (i.e. thickness), even though it is a key unknown when considering polar influences on climate. The remote estimation of sea ice thickness is therefore one of the foremost challenges in global environmental science. The aim of this project is to develop techniques to connect in situ processes, such as ice and snow cover formation, with the remotely-sensed properties of sea ice. The new work focuses on mapping at the scale of a satellite footprint (10-1000 m), and so builds on existing studies at scales less than 10 m. The results will be used to determine relationships between sea ice freeboard and thickness, allowing sea ice thickness maps to be constructed from satellite freeboard measurements.

Researchers - UC Staff

Researchers - Non-UC Staff

  • Justin Harrison: Technician; Geography
  • Nick Key: Technician; Geography
  • Daniel Price: Postgraduate student; Gateway Antarctica

Associated Equipment

Subject Area: Disciplines