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TanDEM-X elevation data for mass balance estimation

Abdullahi, Sahra and Burgess, David and Wessel, Birgit and Roth, Achim (2023) TanDEM-X elevation data for mass balance estimation. EARSeL SIG Land Ice & Snow Workshop 2023, 6.-8. Feb. 2023, Bern, Schweiz.

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Ongoing global warming leads to dramatic changes in the cryosphere. In view of these rapid changes as well as the large uncertainties regarding forecasts, there is a constantly growing need for reliable and consistent information on the current state and the evolution of the ice sheets, ice caps and glaciers worldwide. In this context, satellite-based remote sensing allows cost-effective data collection even for inaccessible areas. Radar altimetry, gravimetry and laser altimetry have been widely used to detect height and mass changes. However, these systems either offer only point-based measurements or acquire at low spatial resolution. Since 2010, the single-pass SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) interferometry mission TanDEM-X provides area-wide information with high spatial resolution of 0.4 arcsec (i.e. about 12 m) at a global scale. The huge amount of globally consistent elevation data could contribute to meet the urgent need for information with high spatial resolution to monitor the dynamics of the cryosphere. However, the data suffers from an elevation bias up to several meters due to signal penetration. The penetration bias mainly depends on snow and ice characteristics as well as on the continuously changing acquisition geometry and underlies inter- and intra-annual variations. In this regard, we quantify the impact of X-band InSAR penetration bias on mass balance estimation based on TanDEM-X digital elevation models (DEM). In detail, a multiple regression model based on interferometric coherence and backscatter intensity is used to correct a time series of TanDEM-X DEMs acquired between 2010 and 2018 over the Devon Ice Cap (Nunavut, Canada), from which changes in elevation and mass are derived. For validation, GPS and laser altimeter measurements are used, which show good agreement between predictions and observations, with mean deviations between 0.01 and 0.20 m. The predictions well reflect the inter- and intra-annual variations, with a mean penetration bias varying between 2.44 and 3.40 m. Regarding mass balance estimation, corrected DEMs yield up to 50% higher mass loss using corrected TanDEM-X DEMs. Our results demonstrate the significant impact of X-band InSAR penetration bias on measurements of elevation change and mass loss and thus, the importance of correcting the TanDEM-X elevation data with respect to cryosphere and climate impact research.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/193888/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:TanDEM-X elevation data for mass balance estimation
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Abdullahi, SahraUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0009-0000-4328-2843UNSPECIFIED
Wessel, BirgitUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8673-2485UNSPECIFIED
Date:February 2023
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Penetration bias, TanDEM-X, elevation change, mass change, ice cap, Devon Island
Event Title:EARSeL SIG Land Ice & Snow Workshop 2023
Event Location:Bern, Schweiz
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:6.-8. Feb. 2023
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 - Remote Sensing and Geo Research
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface Dynamics
Deposited By: Abdullahi, Dr. Sahra
Deposited On:01 Mar 2023 11:17
Last Modified:29 Mar 2023 00:53

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