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Evolution of snowpack conditions monitored with high-temporal resolution InSAR

Richard Forster(1) and Andrew Ford(1)

(1) University of Utah, 260 S. Central Campus Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84112, United States


It has always been difficult to determine the state of a snowpack from a single isolated SAR image because there are several sets of conditions (wetness, surface roughness, ice layers, grain size, etc.) that can produce a similar microwave response. However, there are only a few possible sequences of conditions that are reasonable for the natural evolution of a snow pack. Therefore, through observation of a high-resolution time series the condition of the snow pack can be highly constrained. Crossing orbits from the ERS-1 3-day repeat phase areused to construct a near-daily time series of an Arctic Alaskan snowpack over a three-month period. A time series of coherence and fringe images will be used along with the amplitude images and ground-based meteorological data to observe the potential effects of precipitation events, wind scour, wind slab formation, depth and surface hoar production and melt. These types of changes may alter the scattering phase center within the snowpack and be detectable and quantifiable on the time series of 3-day interferograms.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry