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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11070881

Retrieving Sea Level and Freeboard in the Arctic: A Review of Current Radar Altimetry Methodologies and Future Perspectives

1
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, The Hoe, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
2
Finnish Meteorological Institute, Erik Palménin aukio 1, FI-00560 Helsinki, Finland
3
Deutsches Geodätisches Forschungsinstitut, Technische Universität München, (DGFI-TUM), 80333 München, Germany
4
DTU Space, National Space Institute, Elektrovej Bygning 327, 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
5
He Space, Robert-Bosch-Strasse 7, 64293 Darmstadt, Germany
6
LEGOS, 4 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
7
Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, 18 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
8
Alfred Wegener Institute, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany
9
Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, Earth Sciences, University College London, 5, Gower Place, London WC1E 6BS, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Satellite Altimetry and Its Application)
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PDF [11531 KB, uploaded 11 April 2019]
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Abstract

Spaceborne radar altimeters record echo waveforms over all Earth surfaces, but their interpretation and quantitative exploitation over the Arctic Ocean is particularly challenging. Radar returns may be from all ocean, all sea ice, or a mixture of the two, so the first task is the determination of which surface and then an interpretation of the signal to give range. Subsequently, corrections have to be applied for various surface and atmospheric effects before making a comparison with a reference level. This paper discusses the drivers for improved altimetry in the Arctic and then reviews the various approaches that have been used to achieve the initial classification and subsequent retracking over these diverse surfaces, showing examples from both LRM (low resolution mode) and SAR (synthetic aperture radar) altimeters. The review then discusses the issues concerning corrections, including the choices between using other remote-sensing measurements and using those from models or climatology. The paper finishes with some perspectives on future developments, incorporating secondary frequency, interferometric SAR and opportunities for fusion with measurements from laser altimetry or from the SMOS salinity sensor, and provides a full list of relevant abbreviations. View Full-Text
Keywords: altimetry; classification; retracking; Arctic oceanography; sea-ice; freeboard; review; future vision altimetry; classification; retracking; Arctic oceanography; sea-ice; freeboard; review; future vision
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Quartly, G.D.; Rinne, E.; Passaro, M.; Andersen, O.B.; Dinardo, S.; Fleury, S.; Guillot, A.; Hendricks, S.; Kurekin, A.A.; Müller, F.L.; Ricker, R.; Skourup, H.; Tsamados, M. Retrieving Sea Level and Freeboard in the Arctic: A Review of Current Radar Altimetry Methodologies and Future Perspectives. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 881.

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