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. 190-197

Observation of snow cover dynamics on L-band SAR interferograms

A.I. Zakharov 1 , L.N. Zakharova 1 
1 V.A. Kotelnikov Institute of Radioengineering and Electronics RAS, Fryazino Branch, Fryazino, Russia
Accepted: 19.07.2017
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2017-14-7-190-197
The possibility of snow cover monitoring and estimation of its thickness in Selenga River delta, Buryatia, using interferometric observation of Japanese L-band SAR PALSAR-2 was studied. The basis of the approach is a comparison of interferometric phase difference of signals scattered from power lines towers and surrounding plain area. The data used in the study are 5 interferometric pairs of PALSAR-2 images acquired in October 2014 – January 2015. The mismatch between the phase difference for signals of power line towers and surrounding fields occurs as a consequence of snowfall during interval of repeated observations constituting the interferometric pair. An analysis of meteorological data from local weather station shows the proportional relation between snowfall thickness and mismatch of the phase difference mentioned above, what provides the possibility of snow layer thickness monitoring. Three adjacent interferometric pairs acquired since the beginning of permanent snow cover allowed the observation of progressive increase of snow thickness up to 26 cm in the end of January 2015. The conclusion about the preference of L-band observations because of larger ambiguity interval of phase measurements as well as higher temporal coherence of SAR signals is made.
Keywords: radar, PALSAR-2, radar interferometry, phase difference, power lines, reference scatterer, snow, snow density, snow layer thickness
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