Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Innovative method and software for retrieval of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) from interferometric SAR data using Delta K processing technique

Snow water equivalent (SWE) is the key snow parameter of interest for hydropower production, flood management and climate studies. So far, there are no operational SWE-methods. Norut IT has developed an innovative delta-K interferometric SAR method for retrieval of SWE. It has been demonstrated on ERS data using a summer and a dry snow winter scene. Averaging with 10km x 10km resolution gives sub-degree standard deviation on phase estimate. 1-degree phase change corresponds to 10 cm snow. This phase term is for dry snow proportional to the snow water equivalent. SWE, and can hence be derived.

The methodology is based on natural permanent scatterers and dry snow conditions. In order to resolve phase wrapping ambiguities caused by refraction in dry snow, a band splitting method (delta-K) has been implemented. This results in 36 m unambiguous snow depth.

A new time series of ASAR SLC data is presently collected over the Altevatn area, northern Norway, and the methodology will be tested on these data.

We believe that the potential for the delta-K interferometric technique for SWE estimation has a huge future potential, and will, if successfully demonstrated be very interesting for hydrological users and hydropower production users. Norut IT intends to exploit the method in future projects, and for future applications.

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Norut IT
P.O. 6434 Forskningsparken
9294 Tromsø
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