West Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign

Ice floe measurementsResearchers measuring the sea ice thickness of small ice floes during the West Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign. The research ship Lawrence M. Gold is shown in the background. Image courtesy of Dr. Konrad Steffen. All rights reserved.

The West Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign includes passive microwave measurements of sea ice concentration from the ship Laurence M. Gold as well as aircraft-based measurements. The campaign began in Punta Arenas, Chile, and progressed to the Bellinghausen and Weddell Seas.

Dr. Konrad Steffen led the ship campaign, which monitored sea ice surface at various passive microwave frequencies to obtain brightness temperatures. The photograph at right shows graduate students Russell Huff and Nicolas Cullen from the University of Colorado as they make ice thickness validation measurements on small ice floes using an EM31 (electromagnetic induction) sensor. The photograph was taken by Dr. Steffen from a small boat that launched from the research ship shown in the background.

The West Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign was carried out from 14 August through 4 September 2003. The map in Figure 1 indicates the area that the ship study covered. Note the brown tip of South America on the left side of the map.

The aircraft-based campaign was headed by Dr. Joey Comiso 14 August through 15 September 2003. The aircraft study was to have encompassed a larger area than the ship campaign, as shown in Figure 2; however, mechanical problems forced cancellation of this part of the mission.

For more information, see Dr. Comiso's AMSR-E Sea Ice Parameters and Validation Studies (PDF ~8 MB).

West Antarctic Sea Ice Data

Data are in the process of being organized and will be distributed via this site. If you have questions, please contact NSIDC User Services.

Study area by shipFigure 1. Study Area by Ship Red line indicates the ship-based study area of the West Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign. Image courtesy of NSIDC.

Study area by airFigure 2. Study Area by Air Red line indicates the aircraft-based study area of the West Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign. Image courtesy of NSIDC.

See Also

AMSR-E/Aqua Data
Includes AMSR-E data, tools, FAQs, news, research and more

Sensing Sea Ice with Passive Microwave
An overview of the remote sensing of sea ice in passive microwave frequencies.

Related Resources

AMSR-E Sea Ice Validation
NASA sea ice remote sensing projects

AMSR-E Sea Ice Parameters and Validation Studies
Presentation by Dr. Joey Comiso, one of the West Antarctic Sea Ice Campaign Leads (PDF ~8 MB)