The accurate knowledge of spatial and temporal variations of snow depth over sea ice in the Arctic basin is important for understanding the Arctic energy budget and retrieving sea ice thickness from satellite altimetry. In this study, we develop and validate a new method for retrieving snow depth over Arctic sea ice from brightness temperatures at different frequencies measured by passive microwave radiometers. We construct an ensemble-based deep neural network and use snow depth measured by sea ice mass balance buoys to train the network. First, the accuracy of the retrieved snow depth is validated with observations. The results show the derived snow depth is in good agreement with the observations, in terms of correlation, bias, root mean square error, and probability distribution. Our ensemble-based deep neural network can be used to extend the snow depth retrieval from first-year sea ice (FYI) to multi-year sea ice (MYI), as well as during the melting period. Second, the consistency and discrepancy of snow depth in the Arctic basin between our retrieval using the ensemble-based deep neural network and two other available retrievals using the empirical regression are examined. The results suggest that our snow depth retrieval outperforms these data sets.
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