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TitleMonitoring Wetland Hydrology with Airborne Polarimetric Radar
AuthorSokol, J; McNairn, H; Pultz, T J; Touzi, R; Livingstone, C
Source20th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Calgary, May 11-14; 1998.
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20042546
SubjectsNature and Environment
AbstractWetland regions are unique and vital ecological resource. Their existence is crucial to maintaining a balanced hydrological system and wetlands act as indicators of environmental health. Through monitoring wetland regions an improved understanding of the water balance and stability of the regional system can be obtained. This information is especially important during an era when climate change may affect our fragile ecosystems. On September 1, 1997 C-band airborne polarimetric Synthetic aperture Radar (SAR imagery was acquired by environment Canada's Convair 580 over a wetland region along the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Coincident ground measurements were collected to evaluate the polarimetric radar backscatter over various wetland classes exhibiting different vegetation types and canopy structures. Polarimetric signatures for 5 wetland sites were generated and compared. Differences in vegetation composition and structure of the 5 sites resulted in varying polarimetric responses. Preliminary results have shown a relationship between wetland vegetation composition and structure and C-HH, C-VV and C-HV observations. Total power responds to vegetation structure and provides the best class discrimination. Pedestal height delineates marsh sites from wooded-herbaceous wetland sites.

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