Dr. Gunnar Spreen

University of Bremen
Institute of Environmental Physics
Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
phone +49-421-218-62158
temporary office until Sep 2017: Sportturm C3170
email: gunnar.spreen(at)uni-bremen.de

Curriculum Vitae and Research Interests

Gunnar Spreen received his Diplom in physics and Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Thereafter, until July 2012, he worked as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar in the Climate, Ocean, and Solid Earth Science Section at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA. From August 2012 until July 2015 Gunnar Spreen was employed as permanent research scientist for sea ice remote sensing at the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway. Since August 2015 he leads the junior research group "Remote Sensing of Sea Ice" at the University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics.

His main research interests are remote sensing of sea ice properties with focus on monitoring changes of sea ice (extent, mass, and dynamics) and on understanding underlying climate processes in polar regions. Recent research is focused on improving estimates of the sea ice export out of the Arctic Basin combining sonar and satellite data. Conceptually, further work is based on the analysis of sea ice drift in comparison to atmospheric reanalyses, freeboard data from altimetry, and sea ice concentration using passive and active microwave remote sensing. Satellite measurements are validated using ground-based and airborne field observations.


  • Cooperative junior research group for Remote Sensing of Sea Ice
  • (AC)3 – Arctic Amplification: Climate Relevant Atmospheric and Surface Processes, Feedback, and Mechanisms
  • International Research Training Group ArcTrain
  • CORESAT – Combined remote and in situ study of sea ice thickness and motion in the Fram Strait
  • N-ICE2015 – Norwegian Young Sea Ice Cruise
  • MOSAiC – Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate

Book Chapters

  • Spreen, G. and S. Kern (2017): Chapter 9 Methods of satellite remote sensing of sea ice. pp. 239–260. In Sea Ice, D.N. Thomas (Ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, 664 pp., ISBN: 978-1-118-77838-8doi:10.1002/9781118778371.
  • Kern, S., L. Kaleschke, G. Spreen, R. Ezraty, F. Girard-Ardhuin, G. Heygster, S. Andersen, and R. Tonboe (2008): Sea Ice Parameters from Microwave Radiometry. In Remote Sensing of the European Seas, V. Barale & M. Gade (Ed.), Springer Netherland, pp. 239–250, ISBN 978-1-4020-6771-6, doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-6772-3_18.
  • Spreen, G., S. Kern, and D. Stammer (2006): Utilization of Multiple Satellite Sensors to Estimate Sea Ice Volume Flux through Fram Strait. In Arctic sea ice thickness: past, present & future, P. Wadhams & G. Amanatidis (Ed.), Climate Change and Natural Hazards series 10, European Commission, Brussels, EUR 22416, pp. 176–192. [Article (PDF-file)]

Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. Itkin, P., G. Spreen, B. Cheng, M. Doble, F. Girard-Ardhuin, J. Haapala, N. Hughes, L. Kaleschke, M. Nicolaus, J. Wilkinson (2017, in press) Thin ice and storms: sea ice deformation from buoy arrays deployed during N-ICE2015. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, doi:10.1002/2016JC012403.
  2. Fransson, A., M. Chierici, I. Skjelvan, A. Olsen, P. Assmy, A.K. Peterson, G. Spreen, and B. Ward (2017, in press) Effects of sea-ice and biogeochemical processes and storms on under-ice water fCO2 during the winter-spring transition in the high Arctic Ocean: implications for sea-air COfluxes. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, doi:10.1002/2016JC012478.
  3. King, J., G. Spreen, S. Gerland, C. Haas, S. Hendricks, L. Kaleschke and C. Wang (2017) Sea-Ice Thickness from field measurements in the north-western Barents Sea. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122(2), 1497–1512, doi:10.1002/2016JC012199.
  4. Vallelonga, P., N. Maffezzoli, A. D. Moy, M. A. J. Curran, T. R. Vance, R. Edwards, G. Hughes, E. Barker, G. Spreen, A. Saiz-Lopez, J. P. Corella, C. A. Cuevas, and A. Spolaor (2017) Sea-ice-related halogen enrichment at Law Dome, coastal East Antarctica. Clim. Past, 13, 171–184, doi:10.5194/cp-13-171-2017. [Article (PDF-File)]
  5. Assmy, P., M. Fernandez-Mendez, P. Duarte, A. Meyer, A. Randelhoff, C. Mundy, L. Olsen, H. Kauko, A. Bailey, M. Chierici, L. Cohen, A. Doulgeris, J. Ehn, A. Fransson, S. Gerland, H. Hop, S. Hudson, N. Hughes, P. Itkin, G. Johnsen, J. King, B. Koch, Z. Koenig, S. Kwasniewski, S. Laney, M. Nicolaus, A. Pavlov, C. Polashenski, C. Provost, A. Rösel, M. Sandbu, G. Spreen, L. Smedsrud, A. Sundfjord, T. Taskjelle, A. Tatarek, J. Wiktor, P. Wagner, A. Wold, H. Steen, and M. Granskog (2017) Leads in Arctic pack ice enable early phytoplankton blooms below snow-covered sea ice. Scientific Reports, 7, 40850, doi:10.1038/srep40850. [Article (PDF-File)]
  6. Johansson, A.M., J.A. King, A.P. Doulgeris, S. Gerland, S. Singha, G. Spreen, and T. Busche (2017) Combined observations of Arctic sea ice with near-coincident colocated X-band, C-band, and L-band SAR satellite remote sensing and helicopter-borne measurements. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 122(1), 669–691, doi:10.1002/2016JC012273.
  7. Ressel, R., S. Singha, S. Lehner, A. Rösel, and G. Spreen (2016) Investigation into different polarimetric features for sea ice classification using X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar. IEEE J-STARS, 9(7), 3131-3143, doi:10.1109/JSTARS.2016.2539501. [Article (PDF-File)]
  8. Ye, Y., M. Shokr, G. Heygster, and G. Spreen (2016) Improving Multiyear Ice Concentration Estimates with Ice Drift. Remote Sens., 8(5), 397, doi:10.3390/rs8050397. [Article (PDF-File)]
  9. Spreen, G., R. Kwok, D. Menemenlis, and A.T. Nguyen (2016), Sea ice deformation in a coupled ocean-sea ice model and in satellite remote sensing data. The Cryosphere Discuss., 2016, 1-37, doi:10.5194/tc-2016-13 (under review for The Cryosphere).
  10. Kaleschke, L., X. Tian-Kunze, N. Maaß, A. Beitsch, A. Wernecke, M. Miernecki, G. Müller, B.H. Fock, A.M. Gierisch, K.H. Schlünzen, T. Pohlmann, M. Dobrynin, S. Hendricks, J. Asseng, R. Gerdes, P. Jochmann, N. Reimer, J. Holfort, C. Melsheimer, G. Heygster, G. Spreen, S. Gerland, J. King, N. Skou, S.S. Søbjærg, C. Haas, F. Richter, and T. Casal (2016) SMOS sea ice product: Operational application and validation in the Barents Sea marginal ice zone. Remote Sens. Environ., 180, 264-273, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2016.03.009.
  11. Krumpen, T., R. Gerdes, C. Haas, S. Hendricks, A. Herber, V. Selyuzhenok, L. Smedsrud, and G. Spreen (2016) Recent summer sea ice thickness surveys in the Fram Strait and associated ice volume fluxes. The Cryosphere, 10(2), 523-534, doi:10.5194/tc-10-523-2016. [Article (PDF-File)]
  12. Granskog, M.A., P. Assmy, S. Gerland, G. Spreen, H. Steen and L.H. Smedsrud (2016), "Arctic research on thin ice: Consequences of Arctic sea ice loss," Eos Trans. AGU, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO044097. [Article (PDF-File)]
  13. Spolaor, A., T. Opel, J.R. McConnell, O.J. Maselli, G. Spreen, C. Varin, T. Kirchgeorg, D. Fritzsche, and P. Vallelonga (2016) Halogen-based reconstruction of Russian Arctic sea ice area from the Akademii Nauk ice core (Severnaya Zemlya). The Cryosphere, 10(1), 245–256, doi:10.5194/tc-10-245-2016. [Article (PDF-File)]
  14. Hansen, E., S. Gerland, K.V. Høyland, O. Pavlova, and G. Spreen (2015) Time variability in the annual cycle of sea ice thickness in the Transpolar Drift. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120(12), 8135-8150, doi:10.1002/2015JC011102. [Article (PDF-File)]
  15. Duarte, P., P. Assmy, H. Hop, G. Spreen, S. Gerland, and S.R. Hudson (2015), The importance of vertical resolution in sea ice algae production models. Journal of Marine Systems, 145, 69-90, doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2014.12.004.
  16. Haine, T.W.N., B. Curry, R. Gerdes, E. Hansen, M. Karcher, C. Lee, B. Rudels, G. Spreen, L. de Steur, K.D. Stewart, and R. Woodgate (2015) Arctic Freshwater Export: Status, Mechanisms, and Prospects. Global and Planetary Change, 125, 13-35, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.11.013.
  17. Beckers, J.F., A.H.H. Renner, G. Spreen, S. Gerland and C. Haas (2015) Sea-ice surface roughness estimates from airborne laser scanner and laser altimeter observations in Fram Strait and north of Svalbard. Ann. Glaciol., 56(69), 235–244, doi:10.3189/2015AoG69A717.
  18. Kern, S. and G. Spreen (2015) Uncertainties in Antarctic Sea-Ice Thickness Retrieval from ICESat. Ann. Glaciol., 56(69), 107–119, doi:10.3189/2015AoG69A736.
  19. Hansen, E., O-C. Ekeberg, S. Gerland, O. Pavlova, G. Spreen, and M. Tschudi (2014) Variability in categories of Arctic sea ice in Fram Strait. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119(10), 7175-7189, doi:10.1002/2014JC010048. [Article (PDF-File)]
  20. Renner, A.H.H., S. Gerland, C. Haas, G. Spreen, J.F. Beckers, E. Hansen, M. Nicolaus, H. Goodwin (2014) Evidence of Arctic sea ice thinning from direct observations. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41(14), 5029-5036, doi:10.1002/2014GL060369. [Article (PDF-file)]
  21. Cape, M.R., M. Vernet, M. Kahru and G. Spreen (2014) Polynya dynamics drive primary production in the Larsen A and B embayments following ice shelf collapse. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 119(1), 572–594, doi:10.1002/2013JC009441. [Article (PDF-file)]
  22. Assmy, P., J.K. Ehn, M. Fernández-Méndez, H. Hop, C. Katlein, A. Sundfjord, K. Bluhm, M. Daase, A. Engel, A. Fransson, M.A. Granskog, S.R. Hudson, S. Kristiansen, M. Nicolaus, I. Peeken, A.H.H. Renner, G. Spreen, A. Tatarek, and J. Wiktor (2013) Floating ice-algal aggregates below melting Arctic sea ice. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e76599, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076599. [Article (PDF-File)]
  23. Kwok, R., G. Spreen, and S. Pang (2013) Arctic sea ice circulation and drift speed: decadal trends and ocean currents. J. Geophys. Res., 118(5), 2408-2425, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20191. [Article (PDF-file)]
  24. Spreen, G., R. Kwok, and D. Menemenlis (2011) Trends in Arctic sea ice drift and role of wind forcing: 1992-2009. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L19501, doi:10.1029/2011GL048970. [Article (PDF-file)]
  25. Kern, S., L. Kaleschke, and G. Spreen (2010) Climatology of the Nordic (Irminger, Greenland, Barents, Kara, White/Pechora) Seas ice cover based on 85 GHz satellite microwave radiometry: 1992-2008. Tellus A, 62A, 411-434, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0870.2010.00457.x. [Article (PDF-File)]
  26. Brümmer, B., G. Müller, C. Klepp, G. Spreen, R. Romeiser, and J. Horstmann (2010) Characteristics and impact of a gale-force storm field over the Norwegian Sea. Tellus A, 62A, 481-496, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0870.2010.00448.x. [Article (PDF-file)]
  27. Spreen, G., S. Kern, D. Stammer, and E. Hansen (2009) Fram Strait sea ice volume export estimated between 2003 and 2008 from satellite data. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L19502, doi:10.1029/2009GL039591. [Article (PDF-file)]
  28. Heygster, G., H. Wiebe, G. Spreen, and L. Kaleschke (2009) AMSR-E Geolocation and Validation of Sea Ice Concentrations Based on 89 GHz Data. Journal of the Remote Sensing Society of Japan, 29(1), 226-235. [Article (PDF-File)]
  29. Kern, S., M. Brath, R. Fontes, M. Gade, K.-W. Gurgel, L. Kaleschke, T. Schlick, G. Spreen, S. Schulz, A. Winderlich, and D. Stammer (2009) Multi3Scat - A helicopter-based Scatterometer for Snow Cover and Sea Ice Investigations. IEEE Geosci. Remote Sens. Lett., 6(4), 703-707, doi:10.1109/LGRS.2009.2023823. [Article (PDF-file)]
  30. Spreen, G., L. Kaleschke, and G. Heygster (2008) Sea ice remote sensing using AMSR-E 89-GHz channels. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 113, C02S03, doi:10.1029/2005JC003384. [Article (PDF-file)]
  31. Brümmer, B., D. Schröder, G. Müller, G. Spreen, A. Jahnke-Bornemann, and J. Launiainen (2008) Impact of a Fram Strait cyclone on ice edge, drift, divergence and concentration: Possibilities and limits of an observational analysis. J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 113, C12003, doi:10.1029/2007JC004149. [Article (PDF-file)]
  32. Haarpaintner, J., and G. Spreen (2007) Use of Enhanced-Resolution QuikSCAT/SeaWinds Data for Operational Ice Services and Climate Research: Sea Ice Edge, Type, Concentration, and Drift. IEEE Trans. Geosci. Rem. Sens., 45(10), 3131-3137, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2007.895419. [Article (PDF-file)]
  33. Kern, S., G. Spreen, L. Kaleschke, S. De La Rosa Höhn, and G. Heygster (2007) Polynya Signature Simulation Method polynya area in comparison to AMSR-E 89 GHz sea-ice concentrations in the Ross Sea and off the Adélie Coast, Antarctica, for 2002-05: first results. Ann. Glaciol., International Glaciological Society, 46, 409-418, doi:10.3189/172756407782871585. [Article (PDF-file)]
  34. Spreen, G., S. Kern, D. Stammer, R. Forsberg, and J. Haarpaintner (2006) Satellite-based Estimates of Sea Ice Volume Flux through Fram Strait. Ann. Glaciol., International Glaciological Society, 44, 321-328, doi:10.3189/172756406781811385. [Article (PDF-File)]
  35. Kern, S., Y. Chen, D. Stammer, and G. Spreen (2006) The Sea-Ice Compactness in the Greenland and Barents Sea during 1979-2003: Changes and Links to the Surface Air Flow. Ann. Glaciol., International Glaciological Society, 44, 30-36, doi:10.3189/172756406781811808. [Article (PDF-File)]