The SPICES project has been successfully completed on June 2018.

See 'Publications' section for SPICES deliverables and scientific publications.


The SPICES highlights are:

1. Sea ice ridges are main obstacles for ship in sailing ice covered waters, but ridges aren’t not yet automatically detected from satellite images. In the SPICES, we have developed a new algorithm to detect ridging intensity from SAR images. This is an important new parameter for ice navigation.

2. The CryoSat mission was designed to serve climate research. However, we found that daily trajectory data of sea-ice thickness can be used for the detection of extremes of the sea ice cover. The new product can be used to assess regional thickness changes with daily resolution as well as for detecting thick ice with high resolution.

3. To response IMO Polar Code, we have a novel method to determine Risk Index Outcome (RIO) based on CryoSat-2 data. The method is robust and could be applied to the other altimeter satellite (Sentinel-3, IceSat-2) observations too.

4. L-band passive microwave satellites are good for detecting thin ice regions. However, data from different satellites deviates. In order to solve this problem, we have developed an algorithm to combine SMOS and SMAP brightness temperature measurements to a consistent ice thickness time series.

5. In the marginal ice zone, ocean waves have large impact on ice conditions. In these conditions, pancake ice is formed. In the SPICES, new field data were used to develop algorithm pancake ice detection with a great success.

6. We have also developed a new method to map extension of the fast ice in the Arctic coastal regions based on Sentinel-1 SAR data.

7. Pack ice albedo and melt ponds are important climate parameters. For these parameters, we have advance in using MERIS and OLCI sensors to detect their inter-annual and regional variability.

8. Finally, SPICES has made marked progress in enhancing assimilation of sea ice products to prediction models. Numerical experiments with ECMWF seasonal prediction models suggest that using sea-ice thickness observations to improve the initial conditions leads to improved seasonal forecasts for years with extremely low summer sea-ice extent.

SPICES dissemination activities included:

• A promotional video was produced on May 2016

• All deliverables have been completed and made available in the project www-page

• 13 journal articles has been produced. These are also available from the project www-page.

• A booth for a dissemination of the SPICES results at the European Space Solution Conference at den Haag on 31 May to 3 June 2016 was arranged.

• SPICES User workshop was organized on 1 March 2017.

• A joint user service test case, where we provided satellite derived observations and sub-seasonal forecast of sea ice to client for a selection a transit route from Asia to Europe, was conducted.

• SPICES scientists organized together with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) a workshop focusing on the “Cryospheric Extremes” in April 2018.

• SPICES results were disseminated to the Arctic off-shore operators in  the Arctic Shipping Forum in April 2018.