The next CIRFA seminar will be presented by our colleague John Yackel from University of Calgary.

TITLE: The salient role of saline snow on seasonal sea ice
WHEN: 18 March 2021, 14:00-15:00.
WHERE: Click here to join the meeting


Observations of saline snow in the basal snow layer on Arctic sea ice were first reported in the scientific literature beginning in the 1970’s, followed by dedicated studies on the process mechanisms in the 1980’s and 90’s. These observational studies were soon evaluated with respect to their potential effect on microwave backscattering behavior owing to the high dielectric constant of brine in this snow layer. This brine layer thickness is variable, owing to variable strength of vapour gradients in the snow cover throughout the snow cover season and brine volume in snow on sea ice is a function of sea ice surface salinity and temperature, which is subsequently related to the sea ice freezing rate and snow thickness. Subsequent research in the last 20 years has elucidated the complex nature of this process and attempted to quantify its impact on backscatter as a function of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) frequency, polarization, and incidence angle. This talk will review aspects of this saline snow layer and its effect on microwave backscatter for new and thick first-year sea ice, discuss several parallel research efforts along these lines, and conclude by highlighting two upcoming field programs and campaigns set to begin in 2022. Photo: private.

John Yackel


Thomas, Andrea and Malin