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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(5), 4546-4562;

Scattering Mechanisms for the “Ear” Feature of Lop Nur Lake Basin

Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road, Beijing 100101, China
National Geomatics Center of China, 28 Lianhuachi West Road, Beijing 100830, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 25 April 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 16 May 2014
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Lop Nur is a famous dry lake in the arid region of China. It was an important section of the ancient “Silk Road”, famous in history as the prosperous communication channel between Eastern and Western cultures. At present, there is no surface water in Lop Nur Lake basin, and on SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) images, it looks like an “Ear”. The objective of this paper is to interpret the Lop Nur phenomenon from the perspective of scattering mechanisms. Based on field investigation and analysis of sample properties, a two-layer scattering structure is proposed with detailed explanations of scattering mechanisms. In view of the rough surface, the MIEM (Modified Integral Equation Model) was introduced to represent air-surface scattering in Lop Nur. Then, a two-layer scattering model was developed which can describe surface scattering contribution. Using polarimetric decomposition, validations were carried out, and the RMSE (root mean square error) values for the HH and VV polarizations were found to be 1.67 dB and 1.06 dB, respectively. Furthermore, according to model parametric analysis, surface roughness was identified as an apparent reason for the “Ear” feature. In addition, the polarimetric decomposition result also showed that the volume scattering part had rich texture information and could portray the “Ear” feature exactly compared with the other two parts. It is maintained that subsurface properties, mainly generating volume scattering, can determine the surface roughness under the certain climate conditions, according to geomorphological dynamics, which can help to develop an inversion technology for Lop Nur. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lop Nur; SAR; penetration; scattering mechanisms; two-layer structure; polarimetry Lop Nur; SAR; penetration; scattering mechanisms; two-layer structure; polarimetry

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Gong, H.; Shao, Y.; Zhang, T.; Liu, L.; Gao, Z. Scattering Mechanisms for the “Ear” Feature of Lop Nur Lake Basin. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 4546-4562.

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