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Mapping wet snowcovers with SAR interferometry

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Abstract. The capability of mapping wet snowcovers by means of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is well known. However, using only the backscattering intensity at C-band, there still remain some incertitudes regarding the effect of either rough snow surfaces or very small liquid water contents for measurements performed at small incidence angles. Since the European remote sensing (ERS) satellites usually operate at 23 incidence angle, it is important to consider these effects. This paper shows that these difficulties can be overcome using repeatpass SAR interferometry. ERS data over a part of the Netherlands and a part of Switzerland are used as illustrative examples. In the situations examined the occurrence of wet snow could not be directly observed by means of the backscattering intensity, but the use of the degree of coherence allowed an easy discrimination. The results are validated with in situ measurements.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 15, 1999

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