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Determining Variability in Arctic Sea Ice Pressure Ridge Topography with ICESat-2
  • Kyle Duncan,
  • Sinead Louise Farrell
Kyle Duncan
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center
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Sinead Louise Farrell
University of Maryland

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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We investigate the characteristics and distribution of pressure ridges in Arctic sea ice using surface height profiles from the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) on ICESat-2. Applying a new algorithm to ATLAS measurements we derive the frequency and height of individual pressure ridges and map surface roughness and ridging intensity at the basin scale over three winters between 2019 and 2021. Comparisons with near-coincident airborne lidar data show that not only can we detect individual ridges 5.6 m wide, but also measure sail height more accurately than the existing ICESat-2 sea ice height product. We find regional variability in ridge morphology is large while annual variability is low. Ridge characteristics are not only related to their parent ice type but also their geographic location. High-resolution satellite altimetry data are valuable for characterizing sea ice deformation at short length-scales, providing observations that will advance ridge parameterizations in sea ice models.