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Barrow Sea Ice Radar

New! Recent daily and 90-minute sea ice velocity fields can now be found here: Sea Ice Velocity

Current Radar Image

BRW sea ice radar latest

Radar animation for last 12 hours

Recent daily, 3-day, and 10-day animations, along with other interesting animations of ice motion and events, can now be found here: Recent Radar Animations

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) and the Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC).

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, where north is up in the imagery. Images are archived about every 5 minutes to monitor processes that shape the landfast ice, and can last only a few hours.

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 features. Atmospheric features, such as fog or rain, can occasionally be seen in the radar imagery as well. Every so often, even birds or caribou are picked up by the radar.