Freshwater lake ice thickness derived using surface-based X- and Ku-band FMCW scatterometers

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© 2015 Elsevier B.V.. Time series of ground-based X- and Ku-band frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) radar data are used to derive ice thickness for bubbled freshwater lake ice with heterogeneous snow cover under the assumption of interactions in range occurring at the ice-snow and ice-water interface. Once adjusted for the refractive index of ice and slant range, the distance between peak returns agrees with in-situ ice thickness observations. Ice thicknesses are derived from the distance of peak returns in range acquired in the off-nadir incidence angle range 21°-60°. Derived ice thicknesses are compared to in-situ measurements, an upward-looking acoustic sonar (Shallow Water Ice-Profiler (SWIP)), and a one-dimensional thermodynamic lake ice model (Canadian Lake Ice Model (CLIMo)). Median ice thicknesses derived with University of Waterloo X- and Ku-band scatterometers (UW-Scat) agreed well with in-situ measurements (R2=0.953 and 0.964), SWIP (R2=0.842 and 0.893), and Canadian Lake Ice Model (CLIMo) simulations using 25% of terrestrial snowpack scenario, respectively. UW-Scat derived ice thicknesses produced root mean square error (RMSE) values of 0.053 and 0.088m for X- and Ku-band, respectively, relative to in-situ ice thickness measurements. This study is the first FMCW X- and Ku-band off-nadir approach to observe interactions at the snow-ice and ice-water interface to derive ice thickness.

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Cold Regions Science and Technology