Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

NSIDC Cryosphere Seminar

Remote Sensing Observations of Melt Ponds on Summer Sea Ice with Ellen Buckley, University of Maryland in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

The end of summer Arctic sea ice extent is declining at a rate of 13.1% per decade. Melt ponds that form on the sea ice in the summer absorb more incoming solar radiation than the surrounding sea ice, and enhance snow and ice melt through the ice-albedo feedback. New high-resolution measurements of sea ice provide the opportunity to enhance our understanding of Arctic-wide summer sea ice processes. In our work, we use a suite of remote sensing observations from Operation IceBridge, ICESat-2, and Sentinel-2 to derive parameters that describe characteristics of the ice as it undergoes melt and disintegration. We take advantage of coincident optical imagery and laser altimetry measurements to examine automated approaches for melt pond detection. We have also developed a bespoke algorithm to estimate the depth and volume of ponds on multiyear sea ice. Our goal is to generate novel data products that are publicly available to the sea ice community and may be used for model validation and initialization, or for understanding the ecological effects of light penetration and freshwater flux through the ponded sea ice. 

Ellen Buckley is a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Maryland in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences using remote sensing to study Arctic sea ice. She plans to defend her PhD thesis in Spring 2022. Ellen received her Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in 2015. 


Wednesday, May 26, 2021
11:00 am to 12:00 pm





  • CIRES employees
  • CIRES families
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public



Mistia Zuckerman at NSIDC