Journal of Oceanography, Vol. 55, No. 3, pp. 417-426, 1999

MOS-1/1b MESSR Observations of the Antarctic Sea Ice: Ice Bands and Ice Streamers

Kunimitsu Ishida1, Kay I. Ohshima2, Takashi Yamanouchi3 and Hiroshi Kanzawa4

1Toba National College of Maritime Technology, 1-1, Ikegami-cho, Toba-shi, Mie 517-8501, Japan
2The Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Kita-19, Nishi-8, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-0819, Japan
3National Institute of Polar Research, 1-9-10 Kaga, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8515, Japan
4National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053, Japan

(Received 1 April 1998; in revised form 4 December 1998; accepted 9 January 1999)

Meso- or submeso-scale features of the Antarctic sea ice are investigated using the MOS-1/1b MESSR images (spatial resolution of approximately 50 m) received at Syowa Station. Particular attention is paid to the ice bands and ice streamers in coastal polynyas. In the Antarctic Ocean, ice bands can be often seen not only at the ice edge but also in the ice interior zone throughout the year and they extend for hundreds of kilometers in the latitudinal direction. It is found that the width and spacing of ice bands tend to decrease from winter to summer. The width of ice band is about 2-6 km in August and September, and 0.1-0.7 km in December. The spacing of ice bands is about 3-10 km in August and September, and 0.1-2 km in December. In coastal polynyas, ice streamers, which are composed of new ice, are sometimes observed. In general, the row of the streamers is spaced at 0.5-2 km with a width of 0.1-1.0 km.