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A comparison of L- and P-band PolSAR observations of a sub-polar ice-cap

Parrella, Giuseppe and Hajnsek, Irena and Papathanassiou, Konstantinos (2015) A comparison of L- and P-band PolSAR observations of a sub-polar ice-cap. In: Proceedings of ESA POLinSAR Workshop. ESA Communications. Polarimetric and Interferometric SAR Workshop (PI-SAR), 2015-01-26 - 2015-01-30, Frascati, Italy.

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Abstract

Polarimetric SAR observations at long-wavelengths (e.g. L- and P- band) provide the possibility to characterize the near-surface structure of glaciers and ice sheets. The knowledge of such information is crucial for understanding and monitoring the dynamic of ice masses [1]. With dry snow conditions, SAR signal penetrates several meters through snow and ice, interacting with buried features, like ice lenses, air bubbles, etc. The structure of subsurface layers determines the penetration depth of the SAR waves. In a polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) sensor, the penetration capability of microwaves is combined to the additional information brought by the polarization diversity, which provides high sensitivity to scatterers properties [2]. This paper addresses the interpretation of L- and P- band PolSAR measurements over the Austfonna ice-cap, Svalbard, by using the polarimetric scattering model presented in [3]. In detail, two test sites are investigated, which are located in different glacier zones [4] of the ice-cap. Experimental SAR data were collected by the airborne E-SAR sensor of the German Aerospace Center at L- (1.3 GHz) and P-band (0.35 GHz) over the percolation zone and the superimposed ice region of Austfonna, in spring 2007 during the ICESAR campaign. First, a qualitative polarimetric data analysis is performed based on a set of descriptors which includes backscattering coefficients, co-polarization ratio, co-polarization phase difference, entropy and mean alpha angle. Differences appearing between the two sites at both frequencies are discussed and related to the differences in subsurface structure with the support of ground measurements. A polarimetric decomposition, based on the scattering models proposed in [3], is also applied to the SAR data to provide a quantitative estimation of physical parameters at both locations. A final discussion addresses the incongruences observed by comparing the results obtained at L- and P-band over each site. The difference in wavelength turns out to generate significant changes in the observed scattering properties, suggesting that the adopted scattering model fits better the L-band case. In fact, one of the assumptions made in [3] is that only single scattering occurs in order to consider the different scattering components uncorrelated. At P-band, this hypothesis might not hold as the radar wavelength is about 86cm and the scatterers might be not sparse enough to avoid multiple interactions, even in the case of the percolation zone where very few ice lenses and pipes per square meter are expected [4]. Furthermore, additional scattering mechanisms generated in deeper layers, which are not sensed at L-band, might significantly contribute to the total P-band backscattering. REFERENCES [1] W.S.B. Paterson, The Physics of Glaciers, 3rd ed. Oxford, U.K.: Pergamon Press, 1994. [2] S. Cloude, Polarisation: Application in Remote Sensing. London, U.K.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2010. [3] G. Parrella, I. Hajnsek and K. Papathanassiou, “On the interpretation of L- and P- band PolSAR signatures of polythermal glaciers”, in Proc. Of 6th International Workshop on Science and Applications of SAR Polarimetry and Polarimetric Interferometry (PolinSAR), Frascati, Italy, 2013. [4] C.S. Benson, “Stratigraphic studies in the snow and firn of the Greenland ice sheet”, Ph.D. dissertation, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, 1960.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/93602/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:A comparison of L- and P-band PolSAR observations of a sub-polar ice-cap
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Parrella, GiuseppeUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hajnsek, IrenaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Papathanassiou, KonstantinosUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:January 2015
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of ESA POLinSAR Workshop
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Lacoste-Francis, H.esapub@esa.int
Publisher:ESA Communications
Status:Published
Keywords:SAR polarimetry, glacier ice, polarimetric signatures, firn anisotropy
Event Title:Polarimetric and Interferometric SAR Workshop (PI-SAR)
Event Location:Frascati, Italy
Event Type:international Conference, Workshop
Event Dates:2015-01-26 - 2015-01-30
Organizer:ESA-ESRIN
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Multi-dimensionale SAR-Auswertung
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Microwaves and Radar Institute > Radar Concepts
Deposited By: Parrella, Dr. sc. Giuseppe
Deposited On:15 Dec 2014 08:04
Last Modified:20 Jan 2016 09:48

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