Interpretation and Application of Spaceborne Imaging Radar Data to Geological Problems
Incidence Angle, Lava Flow, Sand Dune, Synthetic Aperture Radar, Radar Image
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Three synthetic aperture radars (SARs) sponsored by NASA have been flown in space. SEASAT in 1978, SIR-A in 1981 and SIR-B in 1984. Spaceborne radar image interpretation is different from airborne radar image interpretation, principally due to the wide swath and constant image geometry. Spaceborne SAR constitutes a high precision image data set in the sense that large areas are imaged under near-uniform illumination conditions. Thus spaceborne SAR images are ideally suited to geological studies of a regional nature. For spaceborne radar images a low incidence angle is probably preferable in areas of modest topography. Multifrequency observations area also needed for certain terrain-type distinctions. Subsurface imaging can occur in arid and semi-arid terrains provided that very restrictive conditions are simultaneously met. Despite the limitations sub-surface imaging has important applications in geology, hydrology, archaeology and other disciplines. Analysis of SEASAT images of a tropical terrain (Jamaica) reveals that SEASAT can provide unique information on structure and rock-type distribution on a regional scale in an environment which is not favourable for visible sensors. Possible future NASA radar missions such as SIR-B reflight, SIR-C and Space Station will provide new data from different incidence angles, frequencies and polarizations in the coming years.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Interpretation and Application of Spaceborne Imaging Radar Data to Geological Problems, in K. H. Szekielda (Ed.), Satellite Remote Sensing for Resources Development, Springer, p. 185-215
Scholar Commons Citation
Blom, Ronald G. and Dixon, Timothy H., "Interpretation and Application of Spaceborne Imaging Radar Data to Geological Problems" (1986). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 1520.