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A Multi-Sensor Approach to the Interpretation of Radar Altimeter Wave Forms from Two Arctic Ice Caps

  • Mark R. Drinkwater (a1) and Julian A. Dowdeswell (a1)

Abstract

Data collected over Svalbard on 28 June 1984 by a 13.81 GHz airborne radar altimeter enabled analysis of signals returned from two relatively large ice masses. Wave forms received over the ice caps of Austfonna and Vestfonna are analysed with the aid of existing aerial photography, radio echo-sounding data, and Landsat MSS images acquired close to the date of the altimeter flight. Results indicate that altimeter wave forms are controlled mainly by surface roughness and scattering characteristics. Wet snow surfaces have narrow 3 dB back-scatter half-angles and cause high-amplitude signals, in contrast to relatively dry snow surfaces with lower-amplitude diffuse signals. Metre-scale surface roughness primarily affects wave-form amplitude and leading-edge slope, this becoming apparent over ice streams on Vestfonna.

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Copyright

References

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