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Title: (abstract) A Polarimetric Model for Effects of Brine Infiltrated Snow Cover and Frost Flowers on Sea Ice Backscatter
Authors: Nghiem, S.V.
Kwok, R.
Yueh, S.H.
Issue Date: 24-Jul-1995
Citation: Seattle, WA
Abstract: A polarimetric scattering model is developed to study effects of snow cover and frost flowers with brine infiltration on thin sea ice. Leads containing thin sea ice in the Artic icepack are important to heat exchange with the atmosphere and salt flux into the upper ocean. Surface characteristics of thin sea ice in leads are dominated by the formation of frost flowers with high salinity. In many cases, the thin sea ice layer is covered by snow, which wicks up brine from sea ice due to capillary force. Snow and frost flowers have a significant impact on polarimetric signatures of thin ice, which needs to be studied for accessing the retrieval of geophysical parameters such as ice thickness. Frost flowers or snow layer is modeled with a heterogeneous mixture consisting of randomly oriented ellipsoids and brine infiltration in an air background. Ice crystals are characterized with three different axial lengths to depict the nonspherical shape. Under the covering multispecies medium, the columinar sea-ice layer is an inhomogeneous anisotropic medium composed of ellipsoidal brine inclusions preferentially oriented in the vertical direction in an ice background. The underlying medium is homogeneous sea water. This configuration is described with layered inhomogeneous media containing multiple species of scatterers. The species are allowed to have different size, shape, and permittivity. The strong permittivity fluctuation theory is extended to account for the multispecies in the derivation of effective permittivities with distributions of scatterer orientations characterized by Eulerian rotation angles. Polarimetric backscattering coefficients are obtained consistently with the same physical description used in the effective permittivity calculation. The mulitspecies model allows the inclusion of high-permittivity species to study effects of brine infiltrated snow cover and frost flowers on thin ice. The results suggest that the frost cover with a rough interface significantly increases the backscatter from thin saline ice and the polarimetric signature becomes closer to the isotropic characteristics. The snow cover also modifies polarimetric signatures of thin sea ice depending on the snow mixture and the interface condition.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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