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Retrieval of firn thickness by means of polarisation phase differences in L-band SAR data

Parrella, Giuseppe and Hajnsek, Irena and Papathanassiou, Konstantinos (2021) Retrieval of firn thickness by means of polarisation phase differences in L-band SAR data. Remote Sensing. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/rs13214448. ISSN 2072-4292.

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The knowledge of ice zones extent and their temporal variations is fundamental for the retrieval of surface mass balance of glaciers and ice sheets. In this context, a key parameter is the firn line (FL), the lower boundary of the firn zone, whose location is an indicator of time-integrated mass balance changes. Several approaches have been developed in the last decades to map the FL by means of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery, mainly exploiting backscatter intensities and their seasonal variations. In this paper, an alternative approach is proposed, based on co-polarization phase differences (CPDs). In particular, CPDs are interpreted as the result of propagation through anisotropic firn layers and are, therefore, proposed as an indicator of the presence of firn. A model is employed to demonstrate the link between CPDs and firn depth, indicating the potential of polarimetric SAR to improve firn characterization beyond spatial extent and FL detection. The proposed approach is demonstrated on L-band airborne data acquired by the F-SAR sensor of DLR in West Greenland during the ARCTIC15 campaign and validated with in-situ reference information available from other studies.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/143425/
Document Type:Article
Title:Retrieval of firn thickness by means of polarisation phase differences in L-band SAR data
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Parrella, GiuseppeUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9174-7331UNSPECIFIED
Hajnsek, IrenaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0926-3283UNSPECIFIED
Date:8 November 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Remote Sensing
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:Synthetic Aperture Radar, polarimetric, polarimetric phase difference, polar firn, Greenland
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Polarimetric SAR Interferometry HR
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute > Radar Concepts
Deposited By: Parrella, Dr. sc. Giuseppe
Deposited On:05 Aug 2021 13:52
Last Modified:05 Dec 2023 09:37

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