Response of RADAR Backscatter at Multiple Frequencies and Polarizations to Changing Snow and Ice Properties on a Temperate Saline Lake

Justin F. Beckers
2012
Currently there is a lack of knowledge regarding the distribution of the mass of snow, or snow water equivalence, over land and ice. The proposed CoReH2O satellite mission aims to address this by launching the first coincident dual-frequency, dual-polarized Kuand X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar. In the winters of 2008/09 and 2009/10, C-, X-, and Ku-band imagery retrieved from Envisat ASAR, TerraSAR-X and QuikSCAT were compared with repeated in-situ and autonomous measurements of snow and ice
more » ... perties over Miquelon Lake, a saline lake in Alberta. Ku-and X-band backscatter increased with snow depth and SWE. Ku-band backscatter decreased with increasing snow wetness and brine volume. C-and X-band backscatter increased with snow wetness, brine volume and snow-ice formation but exhibited an unclear response to ice thickness. The co-varying snow and ice properties hampered interpretation of observed backscatter changes and will continue to complicate the retrieval of these properties. I wish to thank my supervisor, Dr. Christian Haas, for the many opportunities given to me. Thank you for introducing me to the amazing world of sea ice. Your guidance and support have been invaluable over these past few years. I also want to thank the numerous people who have provided guidance, mentoring and field research assistance on Miquelon Lake and the many other projects I have been involved with. I want to thank my main field research assistants, fellow graduate students Ben Lange and Anna Bramucci for their assistance collecting the data. I want to thank Jeremy Wilkinson and Keith Jackson at the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences for letting me test one of their ice-mass balance buoys on the lake in 2009. Thanks to Peter Carlson and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences for providing snow sampling equipment. I also want to thank the numerous other people who assisted in the field at one time or another. Many thanks to my family and friends for their love and support over the course of my entire academic career. To my mother and father, thank you for providing me with the opportunity to attend University and to discover my passion. To my wife, thank you for your limitless support, patience and love. To Jeff Kavanaugh, my undergraduate thesis supervisor, thanks for taking a chance and hiring me as an undergraduate research assistant and introducing me to the world of ice and snow and scientific field research.
doi:10.7939/r3h041 fatcat:sdyzb2sxnvbrxll6gxnenbhwzi