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TitleSatellite SAR observations of river ice cover: a RADARSAT-2 (C-band) and ALOS PALSAR (L-band) comparison
Authorvan der Sanden, J JORCID logo; Drouin, HORCID logo
SourceCGU HS Committee on River Ice Processes and the Environment, 16th Workshop on River Ice; 2011 p. 1-19
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20110200
MeetingCGU HS Committee on River Ice Processes and the Environment; 16th Workshop on River Ice; Winnipeg; CA; September 18-22, 2011
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthwest Territories
NTS106M/09; 106M/16; 107B/04; 107B/06
AreaMackenzie River; Point Separation; Oniak Island; Inuvik
Lat/Long WENS-134.5000 -134.0000 68.5000 67.5000
Subjectsgeophysics; satellites; satellite imagery; remote sensing; radar methods; radar imagery; RADARSAT-2; ALOS PALSAR
Illustrationslocation maps; tables; histograms; graphs
ProgramRemote Sensing Science
Released2011 01 01
AbstractIn this paper we discuss the importance of microwave wavelength in terms of the interaction of microwaves with river ice cover and demonstrate its effect through combined analysis of RADARSAT-2 data (C-band, 5.55 cm nominal wavelength), ALOS PALSAR data (L-band, 23.62 cm nominal wavelength), and ground reference data for ice covers found in the Middle Channel of the Mackenzie River at Inuvik. The operating wavelength of a given SAR system governs its depth of penetration and affects its sensitivity to surface roughness and the presence of volume scatterers (e.g. air bubbles in the case of river ice). Our results show that RADARSAT-2, thanks to its shorter operating wavelength, offers more potential for the classification of river ice cover types than ALOS PALSAR. The HV-polarisation represents the best performing linear polarisation but performs less well than selected polarimetric variables. Both RADARSAT-2 and ALOS PALSAR backscatter measurements are found to make rather weak predictors of river ice cover thickness. To a large degree this is due to the very strong effect of ice structure on radar backscatter.

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