The role of lake size and local phenomena for monitoring ground-fast lake ice
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CitationPointner, Georg. Bartsch, Annett. Forbes, Bruce C. Kumpula, Timo. (2018). The role of lake size and local phenomena for monitoring ground-fast lake ice. International Journal of Remote Sensing, [Epub ahead of print 26 Sep 2018], 10.1080/01431161.2018.1519281.
In this study, we assess the effect of the lake size on the accuracy of a threshold-based classification of ground-fast and floating lake ice from Sentinel-1 Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery. For that purpose, two new methods (flood-fill and watershed method) are introduced and the results between the three classification approaches are compared regarding different lake size classes for a study area covering most of the Yamal Peninsula in Western Siberia. The focus is on April, the stage of maximum lake ice thickness, for the years 2016 and 2017. The results indicate that the largest lakes are likely most prone to errors by the threshold classification. The newly introduced methods seem to improve classification results. The results also show differences in fractions of ground-fast lake ice between 2016 and 2017, which might reflect differences in temperatures between the winters with severe impact on wildlife and freshwater fish resources in the region. Patterns of low backscatter responsible for the classification errors in the centre of the lakes were investigated and compared to the optical Sentinel-2 imagery of late-winter. Strong similarities between some patterns in the optical and SAR data were identified. They might be zones of thin ice, but further research is required for clarification of this phenomenon and its causes.