Multifrequency Microwave Backscatter From a Highly Saline Snow Cover on Smooth First-Year Sea Ice: First-Order Theoretical Modeling

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Journal Name: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing

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Publisher: IEEE

Year: 2017

Abstract:

A theoretical understanding of a multifrequency microwave approach to understand complex microwave interactions from a highly saline snow cover on a relatively smooth first-year sea ice is presented. We examine the sensitivity of Ku-, X-, and C-band σVV¹ and σHH¹ to variability in snow geophysical properties such as salinity, density, temperature, and snow grain radius, sampled from a highly saline snow cover on first-year sea ice. A first-order multilayer snow and ice backscatter model is used to calculate σVV¹ and σHH¹ by taking into account the surface and volume scattering contributions within each snow layer of the snow pack. Penetration depth models are used to calculate the potential penetration of all three frequencies, at initial and perturbed snow property conditions. Sensitivity analyses suggest that variability in salinity and snow grain radius have the greatest effect, followed by density and temperature. This phenomenon is observed for all three frequencies, influencing microwave penetration and backscatter. Dielectric loss associated with highly saline snow covers and substantial changes in scattering contributions from snow grain radius perturbations were found to be the dominant factors affecting microwave penetration and backscatter. Results from this paper demonstrate the potential of using a multifrequency theoretical approach to correlate with active microwave observations to determine the geophysical and electrical state of snow/sea ice system. The paper also represents an evolution in a theoretical understanding on how an active microwave approach using multiple frequencies can be further utilized toward the development of snow thickness and/or snow water equivalent algorithm on smooth FYI.

Citation:

Nandan, V., Geldsetzer, T., Yackel, J. J., Islam, T., Gill, J. P., & Mahmud, M. (2017). Multifrequency Microwave Backscatter From a Highly Saline Snow Cover on Smooth First-Year Sea Ice: First-Order Theoretical Modeling. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing.

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