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Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products
FIGURE 2.1 Approximate locations of the image collections requested by Medea scientists in 1999 (red hexagons). The Barrow and Chukchi sites (red squares) were added in 2005. Images were collected at the North Beaufort site (yellow pentagon) only during 1999 and are not part of the dataset considered in this report. SOURCE: Figure courtesy of USGS National Civil Applications Program.
Barrow – Barrow is the site of extensive real time monitoring of fast ice by investigators at the University of Alaska and elsewhere; imagery acquired here complements these and other in situ data.
Some products have already been derived from these data sets, in particular statistics and maps of melt pond distributions in the Arctic, disseminated by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC, 2000; Fetterer et al., 2008) and used by the Arctic research community. However, these products are based only on images taken during 1999-2001. Furthermore, only surface type (e.g., ice or water) maps based on the imagery have been released. The literal imagery itself or a lower-resolution version of it has not been released. In the latter years of the Medea program, procedures were established whereby Literal Imagery Derived Products (LIDPs) could be produced from the classified fiducials data at a resolution deemed suitable for declassification. Several hundred LIDPs with a nominal resolution of 1 meter have been produced from the images collected at the six Arctic sites from 1999 to present. Below we discuss the many potential scientific uses of these LIDPs.
USES OF THE LIDPs: SEA ICE PHYSICAL PROCESSES
The derived images will lend themselves to a wide range of studies, leading to significant improvements in how sea ice physical processes are represented in climate