Large-scale surveys of snow depth on Arctic sea ice from Operation IceBridge
Article first published online: 27 OCT 2011
Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 38, Issue 20, October 2011
How to Cite
2011), Large-scale surveys of snow depth on Arctic sea ice from Operation IceBridge, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L20505, doi:10.1029/2011GL049216., and (
- Issue published online: 27 OCT 2011
- Article first published online: 27 OCT 2011
- Manuscript Revised: 26 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 SEP 2011
- Manuscript Received: 5 AUG 2011
- sea ice;
- snow depth
 We show the first results of a large-scale survey of snow depth on Arctic sea ice from NASA's Operation IceBridge snow radar system for the 2009 season and compare the data to climatological snow depth values established over the 1954–1991 time period. For multiyear ice, the mean radar derived snow depth is 33.1 cm and the corresponding mean climatological snow depth is 33.4 cm. The small mean difference suggests consistency between contemporary estimates of snow depth with the historical climatology for the multiyear ice region of the Arctic. A 16.5 cm mean difference (climatology minus radar) is observed for first year ice areas suggesting that the increasingly seasonal sea ice cover of the Arctic Ocean has led to an overall loss of snow as the region has transitioned away from a dominantly multiyear ice cover.