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Open AccessArticle

Evaluating RADARSAT-2 for the Monitoring of Lake Ice Phenology Events in Mid-Latitudes

Department of Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga, Mississauga, ON L5L 1C6, Canada
Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, North York, ON M3H 5T4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1641;
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology)
Lake ice is an important component in understanding the local climate as changes in temperature have an impact on the timing of key ice phenology events. In recent years, there has been a decline in the in-situ monitoring of lake ice events in Canada and microwave remote sensing imagery from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is more widely used due to the high spatial resolution and response of backscatter to the freezing and melting of the ice surface. RADARSAT-2 imagery was used to develop a threshold-based method for determining lake ice events for mid-latitude lakes in Central Ontario from 2008 to 2017. Estimated lake ice phenology events are validated with ground-based observations and are compared against the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS band 2). The threshold-based method was found to accurately identify 12 out of 17 freeze events and 13 out of 17 melt events from 2015–2017 when compared to ground-based observations. Mean absolute errors for freeze events ranged from 2.5 to 10.0 days when compared to MODIS imagery while the mean absolute error for water clear of ice (WCI) ranged from 1.5 to 7.1 days. The method is important for the study of mid-latitude lake ice due to its unique success in detecting multiple freeze and melting events throughout the ice season. View Full-Text
Keywords: lake ice; remote sensing; RADARSAT-2; MODIS; central Ontario lake ice; remote sensing; RADARSAT-2; MODIS; central Ontario
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MDPI and ACS Style

Murfitt, J.; Brown, L.C.; Howell, S.E. Evaluating RADARSAT-2 for the Monitoring of Lake Ice Phenology Events in Mid-Latitudes. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1641.

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