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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(4), 3735-3759; doi:10.3390/rs70403735

Remotely Sensed Active Layer Thickness (ReSALT) at Barrow, Alaska Using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar

1
National Snow and Ice Data Center, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
2
Earth System Science Programme, Faculty of Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
3
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82070, USA
4
Department of Geophysics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
5
College of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
6
International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 99775 AK, USA
7
Galmont Consulting, Chicago, 60602 IL, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Santonu Goswami, Daniel J. Hayes, Guido Grosse, Benjamin Jones and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 3 August 2014 / Accepted: 10 February 2015 / Published: 27 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Changing Northern High Latitude Ecosystems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [59388 KB, uploaded 27 March 2015]   |  

Abstract

Active layer thickness (ALT) is a critical parameter for monitoring the status of permafrost that is typically measured at specific locations using probing, in situ temperature sensors, or other ground-based observations. Here we evaluated the Remotely Sensed Active Layer Thickness (ReSALT) product that uses the Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar technique to measure seasonal surface subsidence and infer ALT around Barrow, Alaska. We compared ReSALT with ground-based ALT obtained using probing and calibrated, 500 MHz Ground Penetrating Radar at multiple sites around Barrow. ReSALT accurately reproduced observed ALT within uncertainty of the GPR and probing data in ~76% of the study area. However, ReSALT was less than observed ALT in ~22% of the study area with well-drained soils and in ~1% of the area where soils contained gravel. ReSALT was greater than observed ALT in some drained thermokarst lake basins representing ~1% of the area. These results indicate remote sensing techniques based on InSAR could be an effective way to measure and monitor ALT over large areas on the Arctic coastal plain. View Full-Text
Keywords: permafrost; permafrost dynamics; active layer thickness; barrow; interferometric synthetic aperture radar; ground penetrating radar permafrost; permafrost dynamics; active layer thickness; barrow; interferometric synthetic aperture radar; ground penetrating radar
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Schaefer, K.; Liu, L.; Parsekian, A.; Jafarov, E.; Chen, A.; Zhang, T.; Gusmeroli, A.; Panda, S.; Zebker, H.A.; Schaefer, T. Remotely Sensed Active Layer Thickness (ReSALT) at Barrow, Alaska Using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 3735-3759.

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