Spaceborne L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar Data for Geoscientific Analyses in Coastal Land Applications: A Review
The coastal zone offers among the world's most productive and valuable ecosystems and is experiencing increasing pressure from anthropogenic impacts: human settlements, agriculture, aquaculture, trade, industrial activities, oil and gas exploitation and tourism. Earth observation has great capability to deliver valuable data at the local, regional and global scales and can support the assessment and monitoring of land- and water-related applications in coastal zones. Compared to optical
... es, cloud-cover does not limit the timeliness of data acquisition with spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors, which have all-weather, day and night capabilities. Hence, active radar systems demonstrate great potential for continuous mapping and monitoring of coastal regions, particularly in cloud-prone tropical and sub-tropical climates. The canopy penetration capability with long radar wavelength enables L-band SAR data to be used for coastal terrestrial environments and has been widely applied and investigated for the following geoscientific topics: mapping and monitoring of flooded vegetation and inundated areas; the retrieval of aboveground biomass; and the estimation of soil moisture. Human activities, global population growth, urban sprawl and climate change-induced impacts are leading to increased pressure on coastal ecosystems causing land degradation, deforestation and land use change. This review presents a comprehensive overview of existing research articles that apply spaceborne L-band SAR data for geoscientific analyses that are relevant for coastal land applications.