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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(12), 17135-17148; doi:10.3390/rs71215874

Variations of Microwave Scattering Properties by Seasonal Freeze/Thaw Transition in the Permafrost Active Layer Observed by ALOS PALSAR Polarimetric Data

Department of Geoinformation Engineering, Sejong University, 209 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-747, Korea
Academic Editors: Eman Ghoneim, Magaly Koch and Prasad Thenkabail
Received: 7 September 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 10 December 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
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Abstract

Radar backscattering properties can be extremely sensitive to the freeze/thaw states of the ground surface. This study aims to evaluate the changes of L-band microwave scattering characteristics between thawed and frozen conditions by using polarimetric scattering mechanism indicators. ALOS PALSAR polarimetric mode data acquired in winter and spring seasons over Eastern Siberia are used in this study. Experimental results show that the actual scattering mechanisms and their seasonal variations over various forested and non-forested permafrost ecosystems can be successfully characterized by the polarimetric target decomposition parameters and the polarimetric coherences. In addition, fully polarimetric radar observations exhibit great potential for mapping land cover types and surficial features in the permafrost active layer. Particularly, the co-polarization coherences on the HV-polarization basis and circular-polarization basis were found to be very useful for discriminating different surficial geocryological characteristics in recently burnt forests and thermokarst regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: synthetic aperture radar (SAR); radar polarimetry; microwave scattering mechanism; permafrost active layer; freeze/thaw; ALOS PALSAR synthetic aperture radar (SAR); radar polarimetry; microwave scattering mechanism; permafrost active layer; freeze/thaw; ALOS PALSAR
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Park, S.-E. Variations of Microwave Scattering Properties by Seasonal Freeze/Thaw Transition in the Permafrost Active Layer Observed by ALOS PALSAR Polarimetric Data. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 17135-17148.

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