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Examining the Impact of a Crude Oil Spill on the Permittivity Profile and Normalized Radar Cross Section of Young Sea Ice

New publication by Neusitzer TD, Firoozy N, Tiede TM, Desmond DS, Lemes MJL, Stern GA, Rysgaard S, Mojabi P, Barber DB

Foto: Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen


An oil-in-sea ice mesocosm experiment was conducted at the University of Manitoba Sea-Ice Environmental Research Facility from January to March 2016 in which geophysical and electromagnetic parameters of the ice were measured, and general observations about the oil-contaminated ice were made. From the experimental measurements, the presence of crude oil appears to affect the temperature and bulk salinity profiles as well as the normalized radar cross section (NRCS) of the contaminated young sea ice. The measured temperature and bulk salinity profiles of the ice, as well as the crude oil distribution within the ice, were used to model the permittivity profile of the oil-contaminated ice by adapting two mixture models commonly used to describe sea ice to account for the presence of oil. Permittivity modeling results were used to simulate the NRCS of the oil-contaminated sea ice in an effort to determine the accuracy of the models. In addition, the application of X-ray microtomography in modeling the dielectric profile of oil-contaminated sea ice was examined. The sensitivity of the permittivity models for oil-contaminated sea ice to changes in temperature, frequency, and oil volume fraction was also examined.

IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 56:921-936. DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2017.2756843.