Earth Observation and Modelling

TEMPO - Temporal Evolution of Melt POnd characteristics in different Arctic sea ice regimes

Improving the predictive capabilities for the development of Arctic sea ice cover strongly depends on a better understanding of the ice-albedo feedback mechanism. There is still a lack of knowledge about the temporal and spatial dynamics of melt ponds and their role in the Arctic climate and ecosystem. Using a combination of multi- and hyperspectral airborne imagery and bio-optical modelling we aim to quantify melt pond fraction and depth in different ice regimes.

The main goal of TEMPO is to develop a semi-automated application for melt pond analysis for airborne hyperspectral instruments. Availability of suitable data is crucial for the development of such a melt pond monitoring application. We therefore participate at RV POLARSTERN expeditions in 2017 and 2018 to establish a comprehensive and unique set of airborne hyperspectral data to investigate diurnal and intra-seasonal melt pond dynamics. Ground based measurements of melt pond depth and water constituents as well as radiometric measurements of the light field within melt ponds accompany airborne data acquisition. The ground based measurements are essential for the parameterization of the bio-optical model as well as for the validation of the results, which is crucial for accuracy assessment.



The RV Polarstern cruises are funded by :

Federal Ministry of Education and Research bmbf

German Research Foundation DFG

Project Management Jülich

Alfred-Wegener Institut Bremerhaven, Helmholtz-Center for Polar and marine Research AWI


Funding period:

11/2016 bis 11/2019


Prof. Dr. Natascha Oppelt

Project staff:

Marcel König


Project partners:

Dr. Gerit Birnbaum, AWI Bremerhaven