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Estimation of snow water equivalence using SIR-C/X-SAR. II. Inferring snow depth and particle size

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2 Author(s)
Jiancheng Shi ; Inst. for Comput. Earth Syst. Sci., California Univ., Santa Barbara, CA, USA ; Dozier, J.

For pt.I see ibid., vol.38, no.6, p.2465-74 (2000). The relationship between snow water equivalence (SWE) and SAR backscattering coefficients at C- and X-band (5.5 and 9.6 GHz) can be either positive or negative. Therefore, discovery of the relationship with an empirical approach is unrealistic. Instead, the authors estimate snow depth and particle size using SIR-C/X-SAR imagery from a physically-based first order backscattering model through analyses of the importance of each scattering term and its sensitivity to snow properties. Using numerically simulated backscattering values, the authors develop semi-empirical models for characterizing the snow-ground interaction terms, the relationships between the ground surface backscattering components, and the snowpack extinction properties at C-band and X-band. With these relationships, snow depth and optical equivalent grain size can be estimated from SIR-C/X-SAR measurements. Validation using three SIR-C/X-SAR images shows that the algorithm performs usefully for incidence angles greater than 300, with root mean square errors (RMSEs) of 34 cm and 0.27 mm for estimating snow depth and ice optical equivalent particle radius, respectively.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 6 )