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Sea ice monitoring in the Northern Sea Route using ENVISAT ASAR data

Stein Sandven(1) , Ola M. Johannessen(2) , Kjell Kloster(2) , Lasse H. Petterson(2) , Vitaly Alexandrov(3) , and Leonid Bobylev(3)

(1) Nansen Environemntal and Remote Sensing Center, Thormohlensgate 47, N-5006 Bergen, Norway
(2) Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Thormohlensgate 47, N-5006 Bergen, Norway
(3) The Scientific Foundation Nansen International Env, 14th Line 7A, St. Peterburg, Russian Federation


From 2003 ENVISAT ASAR wide swath images have been used for supporting navigation in the Kara Sea region. Mosaics consisting of several wide-swath SAR images can be used to monitoring the whole sailing routes between Murmansk and the Gulf of Yenisei, which is the most important part of the western section of the Northern Sea Route. From 2005 ENVISAT has provided nearly regular coverage of the sea ice in the Kara Sea region with wideswath SAR images. Image mosaics from several stripes of wideswth images can be produced, giving synoptic pictures of the ice situation in the whole sailing route. The transmission of high-resolution light- and weather independent SAR images onboard icebreakers in near real time, the ice navigation can be more efficient. The major sea ice parameters that can be derived from SAR images are ice types and ice features such as leads, polynyas, deformed and undeformed ice, classification of firstyear and multiyear ice, all of which are important for ice navigation.



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