ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2017, Vol. 14, No. 7, pp. 198-209

Analysis of ice cover characteristics of lakes in Bolshezemelskaya Tundra using ALOS PALSAR radar data

I.O. Smirnova 1 , A.A. Rusanova 1 , N.V. Kamyshnikova 1 
1 Research Institute of Remote Sensing Methods for Geology - Branch of TsNIIMash, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Accepted: 29.08.2017
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2017-14-7-198-209
The paper contains a brief overview of foreign and Russian researches related to the mechanisms of radar backscatter from the ice cover of Arctic lakes and the results of our studies based on analysis of polarimetric ALOS PALSAR data (L-band) for three test sites in Bolshezemelskaya Tundra. Ice cover characteristics, including the backscatter intensity (σ°), were studied for lakes of different types (residual glacial lake Oshkoty, freshwater thermokarst lakes, including contaminated by suspended matters, lagoon salt lakes). Decomposition technique of polarimetric radar data showed that surface scattering mechanism is dominant on land, in the ice cover over the most profound areas of the lake and along the coasts due to the roughness of the top of ice cover (cracks, ebullition along a fault, remains of reeds). Volume scattering on moderate depth parts of the lake is caused by heterogeneities of the ice cover at the "ice-water" interface (bubbles of gas, the remains of aquatic vegetation), vegetation on shores of lakes and rivers. Double bounce scattering is rare and explained by the presence of large heterogeneities in the ice cover (in the rivers and in the central part of the crack). Results obtained showed that the changes in L-band radar backscatter (beside lakes depth and grade of freezing revealed by foreign researchers from analyzing radar data in X and C-bands) are influenced by heterogeneities in the ice cover due to gas bubbles, remains of vegetation and by amount of suspended matters. To analyze the characteristics of salt lakes ice cover additional studies are required, as preliminary results showed that the decrease in radar backscatter is mainly associated with tidal phenomena. Overall, this research demonstrates the advantage of radar data usage to study ice cover of lakes.
Keywords: radar data, polarimetric, ice cover of lakes, radar backscatter, Bolshezemelskaya Tundra
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