Glacial and tidal strain of landfast sea ice in Terra Nova Bay, East Antarctica, observed by interferometric SAR techniques
Abstract The dynamics of landfast sea ice, also called fast ice for short, has a large influence on the variability of polynyas and marine ecosystems, and the logistics for research stations near the Antarctic coast. Therefore, it is important to accurately measure the strain of fast ice and its seasonal variations, and to identify the cause of stresses on the ice. In this paper, we separate the strains from glacial stress and tidal stress of fast ice near the Campbell Glacier Tongue (CGT) in Terra Nova Bay, East Antarctica. This was done using observations from a series of one-day tandem COSMO-SkyMed Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) images obtained from December 2010 to January 2012. Firstly, we discriminated fast ice from pack ice and open water by analyzing the interferometric coherence values. We then identified the characteristics of the strains by investigating the equi-displacement lines of fringes in weekly InSAR and double-differential InSAR (DDInSAR) images. The weekly InSAR images predominantly showed glacial shear strain of the fast ice with fringes parallel to the sides of the CGT. This was due to the cumulative flow of the CGT for a week, while oscillating tidal signals were relatively small. The DDInSAR images, which cancelled glacial strain rates in two one-day InSAR images, showed a deformation of the fast ice by tidal sea surface tilt, with the fringes parallel to the coastline. Based on the unique characteristics of these strains, we separated them from the one-day InSAR images by decomposing the fringe patterns into glacial and tidal strain. Glacial shear strain rates of fast ice attached to the east of the CGT decreased from May to August owing to ice thickening and then stabilized until December. Those to the west of the CGT increased from May to July. This was possibly due to bottom melting of the ice by the increased ocean circulation during the expansion period of the nearby polynya. The glacial strain then decreased until December because of reduced polynya activity. The fast ice near the Jang Bogo Station (JBS) only showed tidal strain as it was isolated from the CGT by cracks and leads. Tidal strain rates of the fast ice were strongly correlated with the magnitude of tidal variations in all these regions, which represents shows that the tidal strain represents tidal sea surface tilt. The tidal response of fast ice to the west of the CGT and near the JBS was stronger than that to the east of the CGT, probably owing to thinner ice thickness there. Highlights Glacial and tidal strain of fast ice near Campbell Glacier Tongue was investigated. Characteristics of the strains were identified from weekly InSAR and DDInSAR images. The strains were decomposed from one-day InSAR signals based on the characteristics. Glacial strain of fast ice varied seasonally due to the changes in ice thickness. Tidal strain representing tidal sea surface tilt was correlated with tide variations.
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