Monitoring permafrost and thermokarst processes with TanDEM-X DEM time series: Opportunities and limitations


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Julia.Boike [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Permafrost soils have been shown to respond rapidly to warming temperatures. When ice-rich permafrost soils thaw, the melting ground ice reduces the volume and stability of the soils, inducing changes in the topography. We monitor surface elevation changes in three test sites in Northern Eurasia using single-pass TanDEM-X Science Phase data with submetre vertical precision. The results indicate the suitability of single-pass InSAR data for monitoring thaw-induced topographic changes (e.g. coastal erosion) but they also reveal the spurious impact of late-lying snow packs and water bodies, both of which are common in lowland permafrost areas. Furthermore, the coherence and hence the precision with which elevation changes can be estimated is found to be limited by the noise level in certain cases. As some of these influences could be mitigated using appropriate mission and acquisition designs, we conclude that single-pass interferometry has considerable potential for monitoring thaw-induced surface elevation changes in permafrost areas, which in turn could contribute to assessing their vulnerability, fate, and climate system feedback in a warming climate.



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Peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
43305
DOI 10.1109/IGARSS.2016.7729079

Cite as
Zwieback, S. , Bartsch, A. , Boike, J. , Grosse, G. , Günther, F. , Heim, B. , Morgenstern, A. and Hajnsek, I. (2016): Monitoring permafrost and thermokarst processes with TanDEM-X DEM time series: Opportunities and limitations , 36th IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2016, pp. 332-335 . doi: 10.1109/IGARSS.2016.7729079


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info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/338335


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