SitAnt – Sea ice type distribution in the Antarctic from microwave satellite observations

The project will create a long-term (1999-today) time series of the Antarctic perennial sea ice area and potentially other ice types. New remote sensing methods will be developed to achieve this goal and to monitor sea ice type changes over time. By this environmental change can detected and quantified.

The new time series will allow to better understand the role of sea ice as part of the Antarctic and global climate system. The seasonal and long-term variability of the Antarctic perennial sea ice will be analysed in connection with atmospheric forcing obtained from reanalysis and by inter-comparison studies to the Arctic.

The project partners are the University of Bremen, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), University of Hamburg, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and Chalmers University of Technology.

SITAnt is supported by the Priority Programme 1158 "Antarctic Research with Comparable Investigations in Arctic Sea Ice Areas" funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): DFG GEPRIS project website.




  • 2021-01: The SITAnt project ended. The final report and publication are prepared at the moment.
  • 2019-09-01: Daily MYI maps of the Antarctic (in freezing seaons) 2013--2019: see
  • 2019-01-25: Progress meeting at the University of Bremen
  • 2017-11-01: Official start of the SITAnt project.
  • A kick-off meeting was held on 13 October 2017 at the University of Bremen with representatives of all five partner institutes present. The research of the partner institutes were introduced and the work plan for the coming months defined. 


  • Lam, H. M., G. Spreen, G. Heygster, C. Melsheimer, & N. W. Young (2018). Erroneous sea ice concentration retrieval in the East Antarctic. Ann. Glaciol., 59(76pt2), 201–212. doi:10.1017/aog.2018.1 [Article (PDF file)]
  • Mchedlishvili, A., G. Spreen, C. Melsheimer, & M. Huntemann (2022). Weddell Sea polynya analysis using SMOS-SMAP apparent sea ice thickness retrieval. The Cryosphere, 16, 471–487. doi:10.5194/tc-16-471-2022 [Article (PDF file)]
  • Melsheimer, C., G. Spreen, Y. Ye, & M. Shokr (2022, in review for TC). Antarctic sea ice types from active and passive microwave remote sensing. The Cryosphere Discuss. [preprint]. doi:10.5194/tc-2021-381
  • Newman, L., P. Heil, R. Trebilco, K. Katsumata, A. J. Constable, E. van Wijk, K. Assmann, J. Beja, P. Bricher, R. Coleman, D. Costa, S. Diggs, R. Farneti, S. Fawcett, S. T. Gille, K. R. Hendry, S. F. Henley, E. Hofmann, T. Maksym, M. Mazloff, A. J. S. Meijers, M. P. Meredith, S. Moreau, B. Ozsoy, R. Robertson, I. R. Schloss, O. Schofield, J. Shi, E. L Sikes, I. J. Smith, S. Swart, A. Wahlin, G. Williams, M. J.M. Williams, L. Herraiz-Borreguero, S. Kern, J. Lieser, R. Massom, J. Melbourne-Thomas, P. Miloslavich, & G. Spreen (2019). Delivering sustained, coordinated and integrated observations of the Southern Ocean for global impact. Front. Mar. Sci., 6, 433. doi:10.3389/fmars.2019.00433 [Article (PDF file)]
  • Zúñiga, D., A. Sanchez-Vidal, M. M. Flexas, D. Carroll, M. M. Rufino, G. Spreen, A. Calafat, & F. Abrantes (2021). Sinking Diatom Assemblages as a Key Driver for Deep Carbon and Silicon Export in the Scotia Sea (Southern Ocean). Front. Earth Sci., 9:579198. doi:10.3389/feart.2021.579198 [Article (PDF file)]