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Ice monitoring of the Great Lakes

This ERS-1 SAR image of southern Lake Michigan (March 2, 1994) shows the details of the ice conditions during winter time. This is an area of considerable ship traffic, and accurate ice maps are useful for the traffic planning. The image was received at the National Ice Center (NIC) in Washington, D.C. from the Gatineau ground station via the North American Ice Link.

The NIC produces a complete analysis of ice conditions in the Great Lakes three times a week. In previous years, the best routinely available data source was one kilometer resolution visible and infrared imagery from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument aboard the NOAA TIROS satellites. The routine availability of 100 meter resolution imagery that is not cloud limited has greatly improved the quality of the Great Lakes analyses.

The image shown here was annotated using World Meteorological Organization standard codes for ice concentration and ice type in a manner typical to that used by NIC analysts on a daily basis.

(Courtesy: C. Bertoia, National Ice Center, USA)

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry