FMI marine researchers have developed an algorithm for continuous ice drift estimation based on coastal and ship radar data. The ice drift is estimated for automatically selected ice targets in the images. These targets are here called virtual buoys (VBs) and are tracked based on an optical flow method. To maintain continuous ice drift tracking new VBs are added after a given number of VBs have been lost; i.e. they cannot be tracked reliably any more.
The researchers have also applied the algorithm to data of three test cases to demonstrate its capabilities and properties. Two of these cases use coastal radar data and one ship radar data. Ice drift velocity and direction information derived from the VB motion are computed and compared to the prevailing ice and weather conditions.
Also a quantity measuring the local divergence or convergence is computed for some VBs to demonstrate the capability to estimate derived kinematic sea ice parameters from VB location time series. The results produced by the algorithm can be used as an input for estimation of the dynamic properties of sea the ice field, such as ice divergence or convergence, shear, vorticity, and total deformation.
Senior Researcher Juha Karvonen, FMI, email@example.com, tel. +358 29 539 6424
J. Karvonen: Virtual radar ice buoys – a method for measuring fine-scale sea ice drift, The Cryosphere, 10, 29-42, 2016, doi:10.5194/tc-10-29-2016, http://www.the-cryosphere.net/10/29/2016/
The Finnish Meteorological Institute is a leading expert in meteorology, air quality, climate change, earth observation, marine and arctic research areas. FMI is in a unique position to study various themes of climate change in the Northern context.
High-quality observational data and research is utilized to develop services to benefit our everyday life. Visible examples are improvement of weather forecasts, development of new expert and warning services as well as applications of the newest research results.