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Retrieving Snowpack Properties and Accumulation Estimates from Combination of SAR and Scatterometer Measurements

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Rotschky, G. , Rack, W. , Dierking, W. and Oerter, H. (2006): Retrieving Snowpack Properties and Accumulation Estimates from Combination of SAR and Scatterometer Measurements , IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 44 (4), pp. 943-956 . doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2005.862524
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Abstract:

This study combines two satellite radar techniques, i.e. low resolution C- and Ku-band scatterometer data and SAR in C-band for glaciological studies, in the first line mass balance estimations. Three parameters, expressing the mean backscattering and its dependency on azimuth and incidence angle, are used to describe and classify the Antarctic ice sheets backscattering behavior. Simple linear regression analyses are carried out between ground truth accumulation data and the SAR backscattering coefficient along continuous profile lines. From this we parameterize the accumulation rate, separated for certain snow pack regimes. This way we find, that SAR data can be used to map mass balance changes, however only within areas of limited extent. Transferences from one region to another require accurate ground truth data for comparison together with additional information regarding temperature or surface height. This investigation focuses on the area of Dronning Maud Land (DML), Antarctica.

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