Science Meetings

Influence of Ice Thickness on SMOS and Aquarius Brightness Temperatures Over Antarctica
Pablos, M., Piles, M., Gonzalez-Gambau, V., Camps, A., and Vall-llossera, M. (31-July-15)

The Dome-C region, in the East Antarctic Plateau, has been used for calibration/validation of satellite microwave radiometers since the 1970's. However, its use as an independent external target has been recently questioned due to some spatial inhomogeneities found in L-band airborne and satellite observations. This work evidences the influence of the Antarctic ice thickness spatial variations on the measured SMOS and Aquarius brightness temperatures (TB). The possible effects of subglacial water and bedrock on the acquired radiometric signals have also been analyzed. A 3-months no-daylight period during the Austral winter has been selected. Four transects over East Antarctica have been defined to study the spatial variations. A good agreement between SMOS and Aquarius TB changes and ice thickness variations over the whole Antarctica has been observed, obtaining linear correlations of 0.6-0.7 and slopes of 8.6-9.5 K/km. The subglacial lakes may affect the vertical physical temperature profile and/or the dielectric properties of the ice layers above. As expected, the subglacial bedrock is not contributing to the measured TB, since the maximum estimated L-band penetration depth is ~1-1.5 km.