Estimation of Snow and Firn Properties by means of Multi-Angular Polarimetric SAR Measurements

Konferenz: EUSAR 2021 - 13th European Conference on Synthetic Aperture Radar
29.03.2021 - 01.04.2021 in online

Tagungsband: EUSAR 2021

Seiten: 4Sprache: EnglischTyp: PDF

Parrella, Giuseppe; Papathanassiou, Konstantinos P. (German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany)
Hajnsek, Irena (German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany & ETH Zurich, Switzerland)

The retrieval of snow and firn properties on large scales is essential for a wide range of cryosphere applications and research questions, implying the necessity to employ remote sensing. Among the existing remote sensing techniques, synthetic aperture radars (SARs) allow monitoring polar regions independently of sun illumination and in (nearly) all-weather conditions. The penetration capability of microwave into dry snow, firn and ice makes SAR measurements sensitive to the internal structure of snow and ice layers. In this study, a physical model is explored to assess the potential to retrieve snow and firn properties, such as layer depth, density and anisotropy, from multiangular polarimetric SAR measurements. The experimental validation is carried over the Austfonna ice cap, in Svalbard, using ALOS-2 PALSAR-2 data.