To monitor polar regions is of paramount importance for climatological studies. Climate change due to anthropogenic activities is inducing global warming that, for example, has resulted in glacier melting. This has had a significant impact on sea levels and ocean circulation. In this study, the temporal trend of the marine-terminated d’Iberville glacier (Ellesmere Island, Canada) is analysed using C-band synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery collected by the Radarsat-2 and Sentinel-1 missions. The data set consists of a time series of 10 synthetic aperture radar data collected from 2010 to 2022 in dual-polarimetric imaging mode, where a horizontally polarised electromagnetic wave was transmitted. An automatic approach based on a global threshold constant false alarm rate method is applied to the single- and dual-polarisation features, namely the HH-polarised normalised radar cross-section and a combination of the HH- and HV-polarised scattering amplitudes, with the aim of extracting the ice front of the glacier and, therefore, estimating its behaviour over time. Independent collocated satellite optical imagery from the Sentinel-2 multi-spectral instrument is also considered, where available, to support the experimental outcomes. The experimental results show that (1) the HH-polarised normalised radar cross-section achieved better performance with respect to the dual-polarised feature, especially under the most challenging case of a sea-ice infested sea surface; (2) when the HH-polarised normalised radar cross-section was considered, the ice front extraction methodology provided a satisfactory accuracy, i.e., a root mean square error spanning from about 1.1 pixels to 3.4 pixels, depending on the sea-surface conditions; and (3) the d’Iberville glacier exhibited, during the study period, a significant retreat whose average surface velocity was 160 m per year, resulting in a net ice area loss of 2.2 km2 (0.18 km2 per year). These outcomes demonstrate that the d’Iberville glacier is behaving as most of the marine-terminated glaciers in the study area while experiencing a larger ice loss.

Multi-Polarisation C-Band SAR Imagery to Estimate the Recent Dynamics of the d’Iberville Glacier

Buono A.;Nunziata F.;Aulicino G.;Migliaccio M.
2022-01-01

Abstract

To monitor polar regions is of paramount importance for climatological studies. Climate change due to anthropogenic activities is inducing global warming that, for example, has resulted in glacier melting. This has had a significant impact on sea levels and ocean circulation. In this study, the temporal trend of the marine-terminated d’Iberville glacier (Ellesmere Island, Canada) is analysed using C-band synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery collected by the Radarsat-2 and Sentinel-1 missions. The data set consists of a time series of 10 synthetic aperture radar data collected from 2010 to 2022 in dual-polarimetric imaging mode, where a horizontally polarised electromagnetic wave was transmitted. An automatic approach based on a global threshold constant false alarm rate method is applied to the single- and dual-polarisation features, namely the HH-polarised normalised radar cross-section and a combination of the HH- and HV-polarised scattering amplitudes, with the aim of extracting the ice front of the glacier and, therefore, estimating its behaviour over time. Independent collocated satellite optical imagery from the Sentinel-2 multi-spectral instrument is also considered, where available, to support the experimental outcomes. The experimental results show that (1) the HH-polarised normalised radar cross-section achieved better performance with respect to the dual-polarised feature, especially under the most challenging case of a sea-ice infested sea surface; (2) when the HH-polarised normalised radar cross-section was considered, the ice front extraction methodology provided a satisfactory accuracy, i.e., a root mean square error spanning from about 1.1 pixels to 3.4 pixels, depending on the sea-surface conditions; and (3) the d’Iberville glacier exhibited, during the study period, a significant retreat whose average surface velocity was 160 m per year, resulting in a net ice area loss of 2.2 km2 (0.18 km2 per year). These outcomes demonstrate that the d’Iberville glacier is behaving as most of the marine-terminated glaciers in the study area while experiencing a larger ice loss.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11367/112616
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