Impact of spatial averaging on radar reflectivity at internal snowpack layer boundaries

Rutter, Nick, Marshall, Hans-Peter, Tape, Ken, Essery, Richard and King, Joshua (2016) Impact of spatial averaging on radar reflectivity at internal snowpack layer boundaries. Journal of Glaciology, 62 (236). pp. 1065-1074. ISSN 0022-1430

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Microwave radar amplitude within a snowpack can be strongly influenced by spatial variability of internal layer boundaries. We quantify the impact of spatial averaging of snow stratigraphy and physical snowpack properties on surface scattering from near-nadir frequency-modulated continuous-wave radar at 12–18 GHz. Relative permittivity, density, grain size and stratigraphic boundaries were measured in-situ at high resolution along the length of a 9 m snow trench. An optimal range of horizontal averaging (4–6 m) was identified to attribute variations in surface scattering at layer boundaries to dielectric contrasts estimated from centimetre-scale measurements of snowpack stratigraphy and bulk layer properties. Single vertical profiles of snowpack properties seldom captured the complex local variability influencing near-nadir radar surface scattering. We discuss implications of scaling in-situ measurements for snow radiative transfer modelling and evaluation of airborne microwave remote sensing of snow.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: radar, remote sensing, snow microstructure, snow stratigraphy, spatial variability
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: Ay Okpokam
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 11:04
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 03:01

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