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Sea Ice Concentration and Edge Product validation and monitoring

The OSI SAF sea ice products (edge and concentration) are continously validated against navigational ice charts originating from the operational ice charting divisions at DMI and met.no. At the current stage these charts are the best independent source of reference data.

The ice charts are primarily based on SAR (Radarsat and Envisat) data, together with AVHRR and MODIS data. A detailed interpretation of satellite imagery and a subsequent mapping procedure are carried out by skilled (experienced and trained) ice analysts. The ice charts are primarily used for strategic and tactical planning within the offshore and shipping community. Requirements are strict; demands are for detailed high quality products for several areas.

Detailed validation of the sea ice products are being done in the areas around Greenland and around Svalbard. In addition validation is done using the operational ice charts for the Southern Hemisphere from National Ice Service (NIC). These validation results are available at these links:

Validation around Greenland
Validation around Svalbard
Comparison with NIC charts at Southern Hemisphere

For the weekly validation the concentration product is required to have a bias and standard deviation less than 10 % ice concentration on an annual basis at the Northern Hemisphere. For the Southern Hemisphere the concentration product is required to have a bias and standard deviation less that 15%.

In addition the daily OSI SAF sea ice products are monitored manually by the ice analyst on duty. If there are areas where the OSI SAF products do not match the situation as interpreted by the ice analyst, these areas are marked. This monitoring is summarized with daily and monthly images, and the archive of these images can be browsed at these links:

Unfortunately, the quality monitoring tool is no longer updated until further notice. We are waiting for a software upgrade that will not be available at least until early 2010.

The image below shows an example of a high resolution ice chart from the Ice Service around Svalbard from 06.07.2006. Click at the image to enlarge.

Sea Ice Drift validation and monitoring