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Snow cover monitoring in the Arctic (Svalbard) with RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM). Comparison with in-situ measurements and TerraSAR-X data

Dedieu, Jean-Pierre and Van Noort, Joep and Montpetit, Benoit and Levistre, Manon and Vauclare, Simon and Wendleder, Anna and Boike, Julia and Gallet, Jean-Charles and Jacobi, Hans-Werner (2023) Snow cover monitoring in the Arctic (Svalbard) with RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM). Comparison with in-situ measurements and TerraSAR-X data. EGU General Assembly 2023, 2023-04-23 - 2023-04-28, Vienna, Austria.

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Abstract

Arctic snow cover dynamics exhibit modification in terms of extent and duration due to recent changes in climate, i.e. increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, i.e. winter rain-on-snow events (WROS). Remote sensing methods based on active radar images (SAR) have demonstrated a significant advantage for snow monitoring, (i) capturing physical and dielectric properties, (ii) overcoming the weakness of optical images limited by cloud cover and polar night. The aim of this study is dedicated to the analysis of the spatial and temporal variability of snow cover in the Ny-Ålesund area on the BrØgger peninsula, Svalbard (N 78°55’ / E 11° 55’). In-situ snow measurements from two automated weather stations (Ny-Ålesund, and Bayelva), regular snowpits around the village and in spring on the Austre Loéven, were compared with the spaceborne dataset. The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is comprised of three satellites into closely coordinated orbits operating in C-band (5.4 GHz, 5.5 cm). The high temporal (4-day repeat cycle) and spatial resolution of the sensors in Quad-Pol mode (9-m) or Compact-Pol mode (5-m) provide a helpful performance for detecting the spatial variability of snow properties. RCM data are also compared to images of the TerraSAR-X satellite (DLR, Germany) operated in X-band (9.6 GHz, 3.1 cm) at 5-m spatial resolution. Both RCM QP mode and TSX data were acquired with medium incidence angles (33° to 39°) providing better snow penetration for volume backscattering. The RCM CP data were only available under low (23°) and high (53°) beam angles. The following two snow properties were analyzed: WROS detection: the focus was set on the 16-17 March 2022 event (+ 5.5 °C, 62 mm). RCM data at cross-polarization VH or HV can clearly detect the impact of rain on snow, indicating an intensity drop of -10 dB, even on the glacier at high elevation. Snow depth retrieval: the study covers spring 2021 (March-June) and the complete winter season 2021-2022 (November-June). - Concerning QP mode, better correlation between snow depth and SAR backscattering is observed by the cross-pol VH component, retrieving more volume backscattering information than co-pol configuration or total backscattering power (Span). We observe also that descending orbit images (06 :30 AM) provide a better correlation with snow depth than ascending orbit (15 :30 PM) data. - Concerning CP mode and Span (RH+RV), the low incidence images (23°) do not match the snow depth observations due to main surface backscattering, contrariwise the high incidence images correlate better with in-situ observations. The analyses of the Stokes vector elements showed a satisfying correlation for the g3 element and the Relative Phase polarimetric decomposition. Finally, a comparison of Span temporal values between RCM at C-band and TSX at X-band indicates similar time profiles, but clearly lower values of -5 to -10 dB at the C-band.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/195056/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Snow cover monitoring in the Arctic (Svalbard) with RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM). Comparison with in-situ measurements and TerraSAR-X data
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Dedieu, Jean-PierreUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Van Noort, JoepUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Montpetit, BenoitEnvironment and Climate Change Canada, Ottawa, ON, CanadaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Levistre, ManonInstitut d’Urbanisme et de Géographie AlpineUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Vauclare, SimonInstitut of Environmental Geosciences (IGE)UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wendleder, AnnaUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0009-0005-1534-4732UNSPECIFIED
Boike, JuliaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gallet, Jean-CharlesNorwegian Polar Institute, Fram Centre, Tromsø, NorwayUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Jacobi, Hans-WernerAWI für Polar und Meeresforschung, BremerhavenUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:2023
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:SAR, Radarsat Constellation Mission, TerraSAR-X, Arctic, Multi-SAR, Copolar Phase Difference
Event Title:EGU General Assembly 2023
Event Location:Vienna, Austria
Event Type:international Conference
Event Start Date:23 April 2023
Event End Date:28 April 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 - HPDA use
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > International Ground Segment
Deposited By: Wendleder, Anna
Deposited On:19 Jun 2023 10:46
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 20:55

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