STAR Joint Polar Satellite System Algorithms & Data Products website National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration website NOAA Center for Satellite Applications and Research website
Suomi NPP VIIRS Sea Ice, 2/16/2017 - click to enlarge

Suomi NPP VIIRS Sea Ice, 2/16/2017 - click to enlarge

Sea Ice

Team Lead: Jeff Key

Product Description

Sea ice age is defined as the time that has passed since the formation of the surface layer of an ice covered region of the ocean. Sea ice concentration is the fraction of a horizontal cell covered by ice.

IDPS Sea Ice Characterization (Age)

Algorithm discriminates between new/young ice from all other thicker ice types using two different methods:

  • Nighttime discrimination employs an energy balance derivation of ice thickness using ice surface temperature
  • Daytime discrimination employs a reflectance threshold

NDE Enterprise Ice Age/Thickness Algorithm

One-dimensional Thermodynamic Ice Model (OTIM):

  • Based on the surface energy budget at thermo-equilibrium state
  • Independent of historical records for ice thickness and age estimation
  • Capable of retrieving daytime and nighttime sea and lake ice thickness under both clear and cloudy sky conditions

IDPS Sea Ice Concentration is an intermediate product (IP)

  • Algorithm computes ice fractions based on ice and water tie points determined from VIIRS I1 (0.64 µm) and I2 (0.865 µm) reflectance and surface temperature from the VIIRS Surface Temperature IP

Enterprise Sea Ice Concentration Algorithm

  • Use threshold tests to detect possible ice cover: Daytime and Nighttime
  • Use a tie-point algorithm to derive reflectance (temperature) for pure ice pixel, and then calculate ice concentration

Product and Data Access

Products and data:

EDR Long Term-Monitoring


Sea ice characterization (IDPS); Sea Ice Age/Thickness (NDE)

Age category:

  • no ice, new/young ice, other ice (IDPS); thickness (NDE)

Sea Ice Concentration (IDPS IP and NDE)

  • Fractional coverage of ice in each pixel


Sec Ice Age/Thickness:

National Ice Center (NIC), NWS Ice Desk and NCEP/EMC, Modelers (operational and research)

Sea Ice Concentration:

National Ice Center (NIC), NWS Ice Desk and NCEP/EMC, Naval Oceanographic Center