Active Layer Thickness Retrieval Over the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Using Sentinel-1 Multitemporal InSAR Monitored Permafrost Subsidence and Temporal-Spatial Multilayer Soil Moisture Data
Increasing near-surface temperature over the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) has led to permafrost degradation and increasing active layer thickness (ALT). In this study, the ALT was estimated based on ground subsidence monitored by multitemporal interferometric synthetic aperture radar (MT-InSAR) and temporal-spatial multilayer soil moisture data. For the ground subsidence monitoring, a modified Stefan piecewise elevation change model based on air temperature data was integrated into a new small
... into a new small baseline subset (NSBAS) chain. A total of 33 scenes of Sentinel-1 data (S-1) were collected over one year to build the MT-InSAR analysis network. Moreover, both soil moisture active/passive (SMAP) L4 surface and root zone soil moisture data and ERA-Interim reanalysis data were used to build an ALT retrieval model. In particular, the global-scaled soil moisture data (SMAP and ERA-Interim) fraction was separated based on the Sentinel-1 amplitude-based land cover classification results and in situ soil moisture data. A typical ALT estimation method based on the point scale groundwater information was also performed to evaluate the performance of the proposed method. Based on the validation of the ground-based ALT observations, the proposed method outperformed the traditional point scale groundwater information-based method, with a correlation coefficient of 0.67, RMSE of 0.70 and ubRMSE of 0.51, respectively. The ERA-Interim-based estimation results were underestimated due to the overestimation of the ERA-Interim soil moisture data. Obvious differences were observed between the ALT of the alpine meadow areas and alpine desert areas. Our results demonstrate that the combination of temporal-spatial multilayer soil moisture data and the MT-InSAR method with S-1 images is a promising approach for the large-scale characterization of ALT. INDEX TERMS Active layer thickness (ALT), permafrost, MT-InSAR, NSBAS, seasonal subsidence.