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Monitoring freeze-thaw cycles of high latitude terrestrial ecosystems is useful for estimating the length of the growing season and annual productivity in the tundra and in boreal forests, for estimating potential damage to living plants due to frost drought, and for evaluating major changes in heat fluxes between land and atmosphere. At microwave frequencies freezing results in a strong decrease in the dielectric constant of the soil and vegetation, which significantly alters their radar scattering properties. In this paper preliminary results of a study that investigates the use of the Earth resource satellite (ERS) scatterometer, a spaceborne radar operating at 5.3 GHz with a spatial resolution of 50 km, for monitoring freeze-thaw cycles are presented.

Additional information

Authors: SCIPAL K, Institute for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, University of Technology, Vienna (AT);WAGNER W, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Second European Conference on Applied Climatology, Vienna (AT), October 19-23, 1998
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 41652 ORA
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