Using TanDEM-X pursuit monostatic observations with a large perpendicular baseline to extract glacial topography

Sang Hoon Hong, Shimon Wdowinski, Falk Amelung, Hyun Cheol Kim, Joong Sun Won, Sang Wan Kim

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Space-based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) applications have been widely used to monitor the cryosphere over past decades. Owing to temporal decorrelation, interferometric coherence often severely degrades on fast moving glaciers. TanDEM-X observations can overcome the temporal decorrelation because of their simultaneous measurements by two satellite constellations. In this study, we used the TanDEM-X pursuit monostatic mode with large baseline formation following a scientific phase timeline to develop highly precise topographic elevation models of the Petermann Glacier of Northwest Greenland. The large baseline provided the advantage of extracting topographic information over low relief areas, such as the surface of a glacier. As expected, coherent interferometric phases (> 0.8) were well maintained over the glaciers, despite their fast movement, due to the nearly simultaneous TanDEM-X measurements. The height ambiguity, which was defined as the altitude difference corresponding to a 2π phase change of the flattened interferogram, of the dataset was 10.63 m, which was favorable for extracting topography in a low relief region. We validated the TanDEM-X derived glacial topography by comparing it to the SAR/Interferometric radar altimeter observations acquired by CryoSat-2 and the IceBridge Airborne Topographic Mapper laser altimeter measurements. Both observations showed very good correlation within a few meters of the offsets (-12.5~ -3.1 m), with respect to the derived glacial topography. Routine TanDEM-X observations will be very useful to better understand the dynamics of glacial movements and topographic change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1851
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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