Multiyear Ice

MYI concentration map 10 Dec, 2017
MYI concentration map 10 Dec, 2017

Sea ice in the Arctic can be classified into several types, the main ones being

  • young ice (YI): thin (up to 30 cm thick) new ice; includes a few sub-types; can be smooth or rough
  • first-year ice (FYI): formed during one cold season; thickness above 30 cm,; surface can be levelled, rough or with ridges
  • multiyear ice (MYI): ice that has survived at least one melt season;topographic features generally smoother than FYI

The physical properties of sea ice differ significantly for the different ice types. Therefore. knowledge of the sea ice type is important for a number of activities incuding marine navigation and modelling of the ice-ocean-atmosphere system, and also for remote sensing of other quantities related to sea ice such as the depth of the snow layer on top of it.  With the recent accelerated decrease of MYI in the Artic, mapping this ice type on adaily basis has become important for many applications

The MYI data on this  site are from a new satellite-based retrieval of sea ice type in the Arctic which can in principle distinguish YI, FYI and MYI.

The retrieval method uses data from active and passive microwave instruments (radar scatterometer and radiometer, respectively), but then in addition applies several correction schemes to account for the effect of melt-refreeze processes, snow metamorphosis and sea ice drift on the sea ice type retrieval. Both air temperature and sea ice drift data are used in the corrections.

As the retrieval does not work during the melt season, the data record usually spans October to May. Even during the winter season, the reitrieval can be problematic - see details here

 

 

Data Availability

Arctic Multiyear Ice data on site are currently available for the periods  listed below

  • Oct 2009 - April 2010
  • Oct 2010 - April 2011
  • Oct 2012 - April 2013
  • Oct 2015 - April 2016
  • Oct 2016 - April 2017
  • Oct 2017 - Dec 2017