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Automation of Antarctic landfast sea-ice retrieval from MODIS imagery

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 12:40 authored by Alexander FraserAlexander Fraser, Glenn HylandGlenn Hyland, Robert MassomRobert Massom, Ohshima, K
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) visible/thermal infrared (IR) imagery has been used to map landfast sea ice along the East Antarctic coast. In the past, this technique has involved creation of 20 day cloud-free composite imagery of the surface, with cloud discrimination provided by the MODIS cloud mask. Typically, several cloud-free views of the surface are available within a 20 day window, leading to blurring of the pack ice in the final composite image and straightforward visual delineation of the sharply defined fast-ice edge. However, particular environmental conditions can present problems for this technique. Such conditions include persistent cloud over the 20 day window, consistent advection of sea ice against the fast-ice edge (i.e. closure of the flaw lead separating pack from fast ice), and inaccuracies in the MODIS cloud mask, particularly during night time. To overcome these difficulties, we have developed a new technique for use with visible or thermal IR data for determining the location of the fast-ice edge. This technique eliminates the need for an accurate cloud mask product, enabling use of the algorithm with any visible or thermal IR sensor with accurate geolocation and frequent polar coverage (e.g. VIIRS). Automation of the new technique is investigated, and resulting fast-ice maps are compared with those from the existing fast-ice product. Automation will be used to extend the MODIS fast-ice product around the entire Antarctic coast, resulting in regular large-scale mapping of Antarctic fast ice for the first time.


Publication title

International Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Environment - Proceedings of the Hobart Symposium


International Glaciological Society




Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


International Glaciological Society

Place of publication

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Event title

International Symposium on Sea Ice in a Changing Environment

Event Venue

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Climate variability (excl. social impacts)

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