Estimating sea-ice coverage, draft, and velocity in Marguerite Bay (Antarctica) using a subsurface moored upward-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) Academic Article uri icon


  • A technique for the analysis of data from a subsurface moored upward-looking acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) to determine ice coverage, draft and velocity is presented and applied to data collected in Marguerite Bay on the western Antarctic Peninsula shelf. This method provides sea ice information when no dedicated upward-looking sonar (ULS) data is available. Ice detection is accomplished using windowed variances of ADCP vertical velocity, vertical error velocity, and surface horizontal speed. ADCP signal correlation and backscatter intensity were poor indicators of the presence of ice at this site. Ice draft is estimated using a combination of ADCP backscatter data, atmospheric and oceanic pressure data, and information about the thermal stratification. This estimate requires corrections to the ADCP-derived range for instrument tilt and sound speed profile. Uncertainties of ± 0.20 m during midwinter and ± 0.40 m when the base of the surface mixed layer is above the ADCP for ice draft are estimated based on (a) a Monte Carlo simulation, (b) uncertainty in the sound speed correction, and (c) performance of the zero-draft estimate during times of known open water. Ice velocity is taken as the ADCP horizontal velocity in the depth bin specified by the range estimate.

publication date

  • February 2008