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Barrow Sea Ice Radar

We are currently conducting experiments with the radar system in Barrow. The radar scenes may not update reliably or not be aligned with the coast in the image.

Current Radar Image

BRW sea ice radar latest

New! Radar animation for last 12 hours

You can now download georeferenced images for use in GIS applications here .

We acknowledge support of the sea ice radar through the DHS National Center for Island, Maritime, and Extreme Environment Security (CIMES).


Below you can view daily, 3-day and 10-day animations, which show any recent ice movement. Note that these animations may also rain or snow squalls passing by as well as flocks of birds. Click the images below to play the animations or follow the link to download

1-, 3-, and 10-day animations (updated daily)





Animations of Interesting Sea Ice Movement and Processes

April 29, 2014 Breakout w/ Motion Vectors


The image and animations above are produced using data from a 25 kW X-band marine radar mounted atop the 4-story bank building in downtown Barrow, Alaska, pointed north.

Sea ice can be detected at ranges of up to about 10km (6 miles). Radar signals are reflected by rough ice, which appears as bright areas in these images. Sea ice ridges appear as lines of bright reflections. Buildings, fences and cars on land also return strong signals. Dark regions may indicate open water, but they might also indicate smooth ice or shadow zones behind large eatures

Images are archived every 5 minutes to monitor processes that shape the landfast ice and last only a few hours