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On the interpretation of polarimetric phase differences in SAR data over land ice

Parrella, Giuseppe and Hajnsek, Irena and Papathanassiou, Konstantinos (2016) On the interpretation of polarimetric phase differences in SAR data over land ice. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 13 (2), pp. 192-196. IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. DOI: 10.1109/LGRS.2015.2505172 ISSN 1545-598X

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Abstract

Spaceborne synthetic aperture radars (SARs) represent a powerful tool to perform cryospheric observations due to their high spatial resolution and capability to acquire data during the winter time. Especially at lower frequencies, SAR signals penetrate beneath the glaciers surface through the shallow snow cover, interacting with surface as well as sub-surface features. This makes the scattering scenario very complex and the interpretation of SAR backscattering from glaciers and ice sheets not straightforward. In the case of polarimetric SARs (PolSAR), the understanding of polarization phase differences represents one of the main open issues. In this paper, a physical model is employed to relate co-polarization HH-VV phase difference (CPD) to structural and dielectric properties of snow and firn which characterize the uppermost layers of glaciers. Modelled CPD values are compared to values observed in airborne L-band (1.3 GHz) SAR data, acquired over the Austfonna ice-cap, in Svalbard, in spring 2007. The inversion of the employed model shows promising results toward the retrieval of firn properties. In particular, the obtained thickness estimates are found to be in good agreement with GPR profiles measured in coordination with the SAR acquisitions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/98147/
Document Type:Article
Title:On the interpretation of polarimetric phase differences in SAR data over land ice
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Parrella, GiuseppeUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hajnsek, IrenaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Papathanassiou, KonstantinosUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:February 2016
Journal or Publication Title:IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:13
DOI :10.1109/LGRS.2015.2505172
Page Range:pp. 192-196
Editors:
EditorsEmail
Frery, AlejandroUNSPECIFIED
Publisher:IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
ISSN:1545-598X
Status:Published
Keywords:Polarimetric SAR, polarimetric phase difference, differential propagation, firn anisotropy
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:09 Sep 2015 13:41
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 18:31

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