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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1171;

Mapping Radar Glacier Zones and Dry Snow Line in the Antarctic Peninsula Using Sentinel-1 Images

Chinese Antarctic Center of Surveying and Mapping, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Key Laboratory of Polar Surveying and Mapping, National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation, Wuhan 430079, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Claudia Notarnicola and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 2 November 2017 / Accepted: 10 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snow Remote Sensing)
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Surface snowmelt causes changes in mass and energy balance, and endangers the stabilities of the ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). The dynamic changes of the snow and ice conditions in the AP were observed by Sentinel-1 images with a spatial resolution of 40 m in this study. Snowmelt detected by the special sensor microwave/imager (SSM/I) is used to study the relationship between summer snowmelt and winter synthetic aperture radar (SAR) backscatter. Radar glacier zones (RGZs) classifications were conducted based on their differences in liquid snow content, snow grain size, and the relative elevations. We developed a practical method based on the simulations of a microwave scattering model to classify RGZs by using Sentinel-1 images in the AP. The summer snowmelt detected by SSM/I and Sentinel-1 data are compared between 2014 and 2015. The SSM/I-derived melting days is used to validate the winter dry snow line (DSL). RGZs derived from Sentinel-1 images suggest that snowmelt expanded from inland of the Larsen C Ice Shelf to the coastal area, whereas an opposite direction was found in the George VI Ice Shelf. The long melting season in the grounding zone of the Larsen C Ice Shelf may result from the adiabatically-dried föhn winds on the east side of the AP. As the uppermost limit of summer snowmelt, DSL was mapped based on the winter Sentinel-1 mosaic of the AP. Compared with the SSM/I-derived melting days, the winter DSL mainly distributed in the areas melted for one to three days in summer. DSL elevations on the Palmer Land increased from south to north. View Full-Text
Keywords: snowmelt; radar glacier zone; dry snow line; Antarctic Peninsula; Sentinel-1 snowmelt; radar glacier zone; dry snow line; Antarctic Peninsula; Sentinel-1

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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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Zhou, C.; Zheng, L. Mapping Radar Glacier Zones and Dry Snow Line in the Antarctic Peninsula Using Sentinel-1 Images. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1171.

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