According to the World Bank data catalogue, (Formula presented.) records of reservoirs and their associated dams are present summing up a capacity of (Formula presented.) km3 of water. They play a crucial role in providing potable and irrigation water and, therefore, it is of paramount interest to effectively monitor such critical infrastructures. An effective approach is based on satellite remote sensing and, in particular, on the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). In this paper, we critically investigate the use of polarimetric SAR measurements for reservoirs’ waterline estimation. Measurements of the novel COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation (CSG) X-band quad-polarimetric SAR related to the San Giuliano reservoir, in the South of Italy, are used to carry out an electromagnetic analysis of the different polarimetric scattering returns. Experimental results show that the cross-polarized channel, as well as the inter-channel phase, are noisy and, therefore, uninformative when used to design coherent polarimetric waterline extraction methods. From an electromagnetic viewpoint, this is due to the peculiarities of the reservoirs that call for low surface roughness and negligible wave pattern that, at once, result in a joint combination of un-tilted Bragg scattering and specular reflection. This implies that a low co-polarized backscatter and a cross-polarized signal largely below the system noise floor are to be expected. As a consequence, waterline extraction approaches that do not exploit the inter-channel phase, the so-called incoherent approaches, are shown to outperform the coherent ones.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.