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Remote Sens. 2013, 5(12), 6997-7016; doi:10.3390/rs5126997
Article

The Temporal-Spatial Distribution of Shule River Alluvial Fan Units in China Based on SAR Data and OSL Dating

*  and
Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 9 Dengzhuang South Road, Beijing 100190, China
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 September 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
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Abstract

Alluvial fans in arid and semi-arid regions can provide important evidence of geomorphic and climatic changes, which reveal the evolution of the regional tectonic activity and environment. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remote sensing technology, which is sensitive to geomorphic features, plays an important role in quickly mapping alluvial fan units of different ages. In this paper, RADARSAT-2 (Canada’s C-band new-generation radar satellite) and ALOS-PALSAR (Japan’s advanced land observing satellite, phased array type L-band SAR sensor) data, acquired over the Shule River Alluvial Fan (SRAF), are used to extract backscattering coefficients, scattering mechanism-related information, and polarimetric characteristic parameters. The correlation between these SAR characteristic parameters and fan units of the SRAF of different ages was studied, and the spatial distribution of fan units, since the Late Pleistocene, was extracted based on the Maximum Likelihood classification method. The results prove that (1) some C-band SAR parameters can describe the geomorphic characteristics of alluvial fan units of different ages in the SRAF; (2) SAR data can be used to map the SRAF’s surface between the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene and to extract the spatial distribution of fan units; and (3) the time-spatial distribution of the SRAF can provide valuable information for tectonic and paleoenvironmental research of the study area.
Keywords: SAR; alluvial fan; fan unit mapping; Shule; tectonics; paleoenvironment SAR; alluvial fan; fan unit mapping; Shule; tectonics; paleoenvironment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhang, L.; Guo, H. The Temporal-Spatial Distribution of Shule River Alluvial Fan Units in China Based on SAR Data and OSL Dating. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 6997-7016.

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