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Snowpack properties in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, compared to Envisat ASAR and Scatterometer measurements

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Rotschky, G. , Rack, W. and Oerter, H. (2004): Snowpack properties in Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica, compared to Envisat ASAR and Scatterometer measurements , 4th International Symposium on Retrieval of Bio- and Geophysical Parameters from SAR Data for Land Applications, Innsbruck,Austria.-19.11.2004 .
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Abstract:

The knowledge of snow pack properties and its temporal and spatial variability is of importance for the interpretation of backscattered signals in the microwave region. For example, forthcoming radar altimetric satellite missions, like ESA's CRYOSAT, aim at improved measurements of both ice surface height and surface height fluctuation, which is especially needed at the margins of the continental ice sheets where the topography is more complex. This investigation focuses on the area between the German Neumayer base (70°39'S, 08°15'W) at the Ekström ice shelf and the Kottas base camp (74°12'S, 9°44'W) in Dronning Maud Land. Escat (C-VV) and Nscat (Ku-VV and Ku-HH) windscatterometer data are taken to retrieve the incidence angle dependence and azimuthal anisotropy of the ice sheet's backscattering. These parameters are used for classifying various snow pack types. Finally, high resolution Envisat ASAR data in C-HH band are compared to snow accumulation, derived by stake readings, and snow pack properties, derived from snow pit studies.

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