Earth Observation

In the short time of Company’s life has collected and produced huge amount of ice and metocean data. Data was merged into a unique database combining ice and metocean information for easy and fast operational analysis. The database enables our unprecedented forecasting and modelling capabilities for almost any operation or design in the ice covered waters of the Caspian.

External Data Sources

Archive of available satellite images covering the region of the Caspian Sea since 1959. Full description of assembly and summary of temporal and spatial resolution is given on a SatLog page.

Aerial ice survey charts from 1921 to 1990. Data was collected regularly collected by ice observation service based in Astrakhan.

WMO weather data from stations along the Caspian coastline going back to the beginning of 1900s and including several offshore stations.

ERA5 hourly data on single levels from 1979 to present on regular latitude-longitude grids at 0.25° x 0.25° resolution. The ERA5 reanalysis will be completed by end 2019, by when the dataset will cover the period from 1950 to present as projected by ECMWF. See documentation on ECMWF page for more details.

GFS model analysis: 3-hourly multilevel data since 2006 (including wind, air temperature pressure) 0.5°x0.5° spatial resolution.

METAR observations from airports in the region.

Historical level ice thickness observations from stations along the Northern coastline.

Internal Models

Several models were developed and verified to interpolate ice and metocean properties to remote regions offshore.

Forecast areas with consistent ice and metocean parameters based on historical records of ice conditions and delineated to comply with modern operational requirements and hydrological conditions in the Northern part of the sea.

Era-5 reanalysis and GFS adjustment algorithms to account for modeling errors in the Caspian region.

Statistical model of air temperature transfer from weather stations along the coastlines to offshore areas.

Air temperature to ice thickness model was developed in house to evaluate its development in remote forecast areas with scarce physical observations or for the times when no such observations are available. To the date the model accounts for variations of negative and positive air temperatures as well as solar radiation effects closer to the end of winter seasons, precipitatation and snow cover.

Wind to drift model based on displacements derived from satellite imagery with the set of boundary conditions effects from proximity to coast and anchoring by ridged ice features.

Bathymetry model of the Northern Caspian was compiled from a number of navigation charts from variety of sources and updated with analysis from satellite imagery.

Ice Charting Data

Ice charts are produced daily based on WMO standard where the whole region is delineated into polygons with homogeneous ice conditions. Analysis contains significant enhancements to account for local conditions of the Caspian and to contain significantly more details on ice cover. The following are the major features:

  • Regional distribution of total and partial for distinctive Ice Concentrations per day derived from satellite imagery and modelled in the gaps between reference images based on wind and air temperatures
  • Regional distribution of distinctive ice thicknesses in polygons with homogeneous concentrations
  • Stages of development associated to recorded ice thicknesses are derived automatically for each distinctive record. Left in the database to compare with older and less accurate datasets
  • Ice Floe sizes derived from satellite images
  • Ice cover mobility index distribution from stable to mobile over the whole region
  • Ice floes displacements derived from satellite imagery that are used to evaluate drift
  • Stamukhi and ice surface roughness distribution over the region

Follow link to Regional Nowcast Analysis webpage for description of the monitoring program, more details and Data Samples

Derivative Datasets and Daily Averages

Daily averages are compiled regularly to facilitate operational forecasting and form the base for long-term statistical analysis and design. Some of the values listed below are regularly updated during winter seasons on our Ice and Metocean dashboard for ice charters.

2m air temperature for forecast areas based on adjusted ERA5 dataset since 1959.

2m air temperature for forecast areas derived from WMO weather stations data from 1900 to 1959.

Wind regime intensity described by means of average vectors and persistence for each forecast area.

Derived ice thickness observations for each forecast area include up to three values per day and corresponding dates of appearance and disappearance associated both with thermal and dynamic processes occurring in the region.

Dates and durations starting from the first ice freezing up or drifting into an area to disappearing due to melt or drift for each distinctive ice thickness class.

Areal coverages and associated global volumes of ice.

Thermal severity indexes traditional FDD accumulated during the whole season, advanced FDD for each distinctive ice thickness as well as distribution of accumulated freezing DegreeDays over by forecast areas.

Stamukhi distribution over the region. Data acquisition program is described in R&D section. Interactive PowerBI report shows basic summary of the dataset for the last five years.

Contact us for more details and if you have any questions in regards of the Caspian ice and metocean dataset