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Publication Date
28 December 2021

A neural network-based method for satellite-based mapping of sediment-laden sea ice in the Arctic



Sediment-laden sea ice is a ubiquitous phenomenon in the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas. This study presents a satellite-based approach at quantifying the distribution of sediment-laden ice that allows for more extensive observations in both time and space to monitor spatiotemporal variations in sediment-laden ice. A structural- optical model coupled with a four-stream multilayer discrete ordinates method radiative transfer model was used to examine surface spectral albedo for four surface types: clean ice, sediment-laden ice with 15 different sediment loadings from 25 to 1000 g m− 3, ponded ice, and ice-free open water. Based on the fact that the spectral characteristics of sediment-laden ice differ from those other surface types, fractions of sediment-laden ice were estimated from the remotely-sensed surface reflectance by a spectral unmixing algorithm using a least square method. Sensitivity analyses demonstrated that a combination of sediment loads of 50 and 500 g m− 3 effectively represents the areal fraction of sediment-laden ice with a wide range of sediment loads. The estimated fractions of each surface type and corresponding remotely-sensed surface reflectances were used to train an artificial neural network to speed up processing relative to the least-squares method. Comparing the fractions of sediment-laden ice derived from these two approaches yielded good agreements for areal fractions of sediment-laden ice, highlighting the superior performance of the neural network for processing large datasets. Although our approach contains potential uncertainties associated with methodological limitations, spatiotemporal variations in sediment-laden ice exhibited reasonable agreement with spatial patterns and seasonal variations reported in the literature on in situ observations of sediment-laden ice. Systematic satellite-based monitoring of sediment-laden ice distribution can provide extensive, sustained, and cost-effective observations to foster our understanding of the role of sediment-laden ice in a wide variety of research fields including sediment transport and biogeochemical cycling.

Waga, Hisatomo, Hajo Eicken, Bonnie Light, and Yasushi Fukamachi. 2021. “A Neural Network-Based Method For Satellite-Based Mapping Of Sediment-Laden Sea Ice In The Arctic”. Remote Sensing Of Environment 270: 112861. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2021.112861.
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