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ReSEC Lab Published a Study Assessing Ice Break-Up Trends in Slave River Delta through Satellite Observations and Random Forest Modeling

A new study led by Ida Moalemi of ReSEC Lab, published in the Remote Sensing Journal, investigates the ice break-up trends in the Slave River Delta (SRD) and their impact on the Great Slave Lake (GSL). The study highlights that the inflow from the Slave River significantly influences the seasonal temperature trends and ice phenology of the GSL. The river's mechanical break-ups trigger the ice break-up process in the GSL. Upstream water management also affects the river's discharge, impacting the ice break-up at GSL. Monitoring the ice break-up process at the SRD is crucial for understanding the upstream activities' cascading effects.


The research employed Random Forest (RF) models to monitor ice break-up processes using high-resolution satellite images from Landsat-5, Landsat-8, Sentinel-2a, and Sentinel-2b. The RF models classified ice, open water, and cloud, using data-driven thresholds to determine the break-up onset. Analysis from 1984 to 2023 revealed a significant trend of earlier break-ups, as evidenced by the Mann–Kendall test with a p-value of 0.05. Recent data show high variability in the break-up rate, attributed to improved temporal resolution in satellite imagery.


The full paper is available here



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