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Open AccessArticle

Fine-Scale Sea Ice Structure Characterized Using Underwater Acoustic Methods

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Tasmania 7000, Australia
Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Tasmania 7250, Australia
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia
Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 4800, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 821;
Received: 30 June 2016 / Accepted: 24 September 2016 / Published: 5 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Underwater Acoustic Remote Sensing)
Antarctic sea ice is known to provide unique ecosystem habitat at the ice–ocean interface. Mapping sea ice characteristics—such as thickness and roughness—at high resolution from beneath the ice is difficult due to access. A Geoswath Plus phase-measuring bathymetric sonar mounted on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) was employed in this study to collect data underneath the sea ice at Cape Evans in Antarctica in November 2014. This study demonstrates how acoustic data can be collected and processed to resolutions of 1 m for acoustic bathymetry and 5 cm for acoustic backscatter in this challenging environment. Different ice textures such as platelet ice, smooth ice, and sea ice morphologies, ranging in size from 1 to 50 m were characterized. The acoustic techniques developed in this work could provide a key to understanding the distribution of sea ice communities, as they are nondisruptive to the fragile ice environments and provide geolocated data over large spatial extents. These results improve our understanding of sea ice properties and the complex, highly variable ecosystem that exists at this boundary. View Full-Text
Keywords: sea ice; autonomous underwater vehicles; multibeam acoustic data; underwater acoustic processing methods sea ice; autonomous underwater vehicles; multibeam acoustic data; underwater acoustic processing methods
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lucieer, V.; Nau, A.W.; Forrest, A.L.; Hawes, I. Fine-Scale Sea Ice Structure Characterized Using Underwater Acoustic Methods. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 821.

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