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L-band temporal coherence assessment and modeling over Interior Alaska

Molan, E. Y., J. W. Kim, Z. Lu, and P. Agram (2018), L-band temporal coherence assessment and modeling over Interior Alaska, Remote Sensing, 10, 150, doi:10.3390/rs10010150.

Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) provides the capability to detect surface deformation. Numerous processing approaches have been developed to improve InSAR results and overcome its limitations. Regardless of the processing methodology, however, temporal decorrelation is a major obstacle for all InSAR applications, especially over vegetated areas and dynamic environments, such as Interior Alaska. Temporal coherence is usually modeled as a univariate exponential function of temporal baseline. It has been, however, documented that temporal variations in surface backscattering due to the change in surface parameters, i.e., dielectric constant, roughness, and the geometry of scatterers, can result in gradual, seasonal, or sudden decorrelations and loss of InSAR coherence. The coherence models introduced so far have largely neglected the effect of the temporal change in backscattering on InSAR coherence. Here, we introduce a new temporal decorrelation model that considers changes in surface backscattering by utilizing the relative change in SAR intensity between two images as a proxy for the change in surface scattering parameters. The model also takes into account the decorrelation due to the change in snow depth between two images. Using the L-band Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS-2) Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR-2) data, the model has been assessed over forested and shrub landscapes in Delta Junction, Interior Alaska. The model decreases the RMS error of temporal coherence estimation from 0.18 to 0.09 on average. The improvements made by the model have been statistically proved to be significant at the 99% confidence level. Additionally, the model shows that the coherence of forested areas are more prone to changes in backscattering than shrub landscape. The model is based on L-band data and may not be expanded to C-band or X-band InSAR observations.

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Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)