Day 4

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Paper title Satellite observation of freshwater ice: From physics to people’s safety
  1. Elena Zakharova EOLA/NUIM Speaker
  2. Alexei Kouraev LEGOS (Université de Toulouse, CNES, CNRS, UPS, IRD), France
  3. Claude R. Duguay University of Waterloo
  4. Svetlana Agafonova MSU, Russia
  5. Natalia Frolova Lomonosov Moscow State University
  6. Ghislain Picard Université Grenoble Alpes
  7. Justin Murfitt Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo
Form of presentation Poster
  • A7. Hydrology and Water Cycle
    • A7.01 Inland Water Storage and Runoff: Modeling, In Situ Data and Remote Sensing
Abstract text At high latitudes, ice cover on lakes and rivers is the key factor of local and regional climatic, environmental and socioeconomic systems. It modulates heat and mass exchange with the atmosphere, reshapes riparian ecosystems, and may induce hazardous flooding. In many remote regions of the Arctic, freshwater (river and lake) ice is a crucial actor for socioeconomic resilience of local communities. It provides: 1) a unique infrastructure for the transport of goods and people via winter ice roads; 2) access to fishing and hunting grounds; and 3) supplies drinking water. Each year hundreds of kilometres of roads are built in Canada, Alaska, Russia, Norway, Finland, and Switzerland on lake ice and river ice by regional/local authorities or by local residents. For safe usage of ice roads, a variety of information on ice parameters (initial freeze-up, structure, thickness and growth history, fracturing, metamorphism, etc.) is needed. During the last few years, several European (ESA CCI+ Lakes, ESA LIAM, CNES TOSCA) and Russian (RFBR "Arctic") projects have funded research dedicated to investigation of freshwater ice from space. In this presentation, we provide several examples of the use of satellite observations for the study of lake and river ice parameters and discuss results in context of their potential application for safe ice cover use on Lake Baikal and on the Ob River (Siberia).

On Lake Baikal, intra-thermocline eddies often form prior to ice formation and continue to develop under the ice cover. These eddies weaken and melt the ice. Several areas of frequent eddy appearance are located in sections of the lake where ice roads are used by local people and not monitored operationally. The combination of the different optical, imaging SAR and radar altimetry missions helps to monitor and understand the spatial distribution of eddies and the transformation of ice cover by their presence. On the Ob River, radar altimetry observations were used for retrieving ice phenology dates and ice thickness along a 400-km river reach. The retrievals demonstrated a good potential for the forecasting of the ice road operation in Salekhard City. In situ observations are needed for adequate interpretation of satellite observations in the context of changing ice properties. Radiative transfer modelling can also be helpful and, in the near future, may allow for the estimation of the main freshwater ice parameter of interest - ice thickness. Here, we present the first results of the application of the Snow Microwave Radiative Transfer (SMRT) model for the simulation of radar altimeter backscatter and emissivity of Lake Baikal ice during winter 2018-2019.