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Haili Li, Changqing Ke, Qinghui Zhu, Xiaoyi Shen, Mengmeng Li. An improved optical flow method to estimate Arctic sea ice velocity (winter 2014−2016)[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1867-2
Citation: Haili Li, Changqing Ke, Qinghui Zhu, Xiaoyi Shen, Mengmeng Li. An improved optical flow method to estimate Arctic sea ice velocity (winter 2014−2016)[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1867-2

An improved optical flow method to estimate Arctic sea ice velocity (winter 2014−2016)

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1867-2
Funds:  The National Key Research and Development Program of China under contract Nos 2018YFC1407200 and 2018YFC1407203; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 41976212.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: kecq@nju.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2021-01-18
  • Accepted Date: 2021-06-12
  • Available Online: 2021-09-03
  • Sea ice velocity impacts the distribution of sea ice, and the flux of exported sea ice through the Fram Strait increases with increasing ice velocity. Therefore, improving the accuracy of estimates of the sea ice velocity is important. We introduce a pyramid algorithm into the Horn-Schunck optical flow (HS-OF) method (to develop the PHS-OF method). Before calculating the sea ice velocity, we generate multilayer pyramid images from an original brightness temperature image. Then, the sea ice velocity of the pyramid layer is calculated, and the ice velocity in the original image is calculated by layer iteration. Winter Arctic sea ice velocities from 2014 to 2016 are obtained and used to discuss the accuracy of the HS-OF method and PHS-OF (specifically the 2-layer PHS-OF (2LPHS-OF) and 4-layer PHS-OF (4LPHS-OF)) methods. The results prove that the PHS-OF method indeed improves the accuracy of sea ice velocity estimates, and the 2LPHS-OF scheme is more appropriate for estimating ice velocity. The error is smaller for the 2LPHS-OF velocity estimates than values from the Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility and the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service, and estimates of changes in velocity by the 2LPHS-OF method are consistent with those from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice undergoes two main motion patterns, i.e., transpolar drift and the Beaufort Gyre. In addition, cyclonic and anticyclonic ice drift occurred during winter 2016. Variations in sea ice velocity are related to the open water area, sea ice retreat time and length of the open water season.
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