NASA Sea Ice Cover Products

Product User Guide PI - Mark Tschudi (Univ of Colorado)
Product ATBD Co-Is: Dorothy HALL (NASA GSFC), George Riggs (SSAI GSFC),

Sea Ice Cover


NASA VIIRS Sea Ice Cover in the
Beaufort Sea, April 7, 2015.

The VIIRS Sea Ice Cover product identifies sea ice in cloud-free areas of the Arctic and Antarctic for both day and night. The sea ice cover algorithm is similar to the current MODIS C6 Sea Ice Extent algorithm, utilizing the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI):

NDSI = (I1 band - I3 band) / (I1 band + I3 band)

The VIIRS I1 and I3 bands are image quality and centered at 0.64 µm and 1.61 µm, respectively. The algorithm utilizes NDSI in the following way: If the NDSI is greater than a certain threshold, and the I1 band is greater than a second particular threshold, then the pixel is identified as sea ice. These thresholds are developed and may be modified to improve correlations with sea ice detection using other satellite-based and airborne sensors.

Sea Ice Cover Validation Plan

The NASA Sea Ice Cover Product will be validated via inter-comparisons with other satellite-based sea ice coverage products. These include the following products from NASA/NSIDC: MODIS Sea Ice Extent, SSM/I Sea Ice Concentration, and the IMS DailysNorthern Hemisphere Snow and Ice Analysis. Validation of sea ice cover will be accomplished with NASA's Operation IceBridge DMS camera imagery.


Product Details

Product Name Product ID
NPP/VIIRS Sea Ice Extent 6-Min L2 Swath 750m VNP29
NPP/VIIRS Sea Ice Extent Daily L3 Global 1km EASE-Grid Day VNP29P1D
NPP/VIIRS Sea Ice Extent Daily L3 Global 4km EASE-Grid Day VNP29E1D