Polarimetric C-band microwave scattering from winter first-year sea ice ridges

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Date
2015-06-04
Authors
Shields, Megan
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Abstract
Microwave scattering from sea ice ridges is poorly understood. This thesis aims to improve the current knowledge on in situ C-band microwave scattering from first-year sea ice (FYI) pressure ridges during winter, and how C-band backscatter can vary with changes to radar and target parameters. Remotely sensed data of ridged ice were collected at a sea ice mesocosm using a LiDAR laser scanner and a fully-polarimetric C-band scatterometer. Thesis results indicate that using an incidence angle between 30 and 50° and HV polarization will best enable distinguishing between smooth and ridged ice, while using an incidence angle of 40° and HV or HH polarization will best enable detecting variations in ridge height. Overall results indicate that a significant proportion of the variance in FYI snow-free ridge C-band backscatter can be explained by incidence angle, polarization, and ridge height, with almost 88% of the variability in backscatter attributed to ridge height.
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Keywords
Microwaves, LiDAR, Ridges, Sea Ice, C-Band, Arctic
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