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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
03 May 2013
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Snow density retrieval using SAR data: algorithm validation and applications in part of North Western Himalaya
P. K. Thakur1, R. D. Garg2, S. P. Aggarwal1, P. K. Garg2, Snehmani3, and J. Shi4 1Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun 4-kalidas road, 248001 Uttarakhand, India
2Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, 247667 Uttarakhand, India
3Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE), Chandigarh Himparisar, Sector 37-A, 160017 Chandigarh, India
4Institute for Computational Earth System Science, Ellison Hall 6808, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA
Abstract. The current study has been done using Polarimetric Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data to estimate the dry snow density in Manali sub-basin of Beas River located in state of Himachal Pradesh, India. SAR data from Radarsat-2 (RS2), Environmental Satellite (ENVISAT), Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (ASAR) and Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS)-Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) have been used. The SAR based inversion models were implemented separately for fully polarimetric RS2, PALSAR and dual polarimetric ASAR Alternate polarization System (APS) datasets in Mathematica and MATLAB software and have been used for finding out dry snow dielectric constant and snow density. Masks for forest, built area, layover and shadow were considered in estimating snow parameters. Overall accuracy in terms of R2 value and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) was calculated as 0.85 and 0.03 g cm−3 for snow density based on the ground truth data. The retrieved snow density is highly useful for snow avalanche and snowmelt runoff modeling related studies of this region.

Citation: Thakur, P. K., Garg, R. D., Aggarwal, S. P., Garg, P. K., Snehmani, and Shi, J.: Snow density retrieval using SAR data: algorithm validation and applications in part of North Western Himalaya, The Cryosphere Discuss., 7, 1927-1960, doi:10.5194/tcd-7-1927-2013, 2013.
P. K. Thakur et al.
P. K. Thakur et al.


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