Radar Remote Sensing of Snow

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, hydrology, remote sensing, snow

Principal Investigator: Kelly, Richard (1)
Licence Number: 16026
Organization: University of Waterloo
Licenced Year(s): 2017
Issued: Jan 19, 2017
Project Team: Aaron Thompson (Student/Researcher, University of Waterloo), Branden Walker (Student/Camp Manager, Wilfred Laurier University)

Objective(s): To understand and explain the role of snow microstructure.

Project Description: The primary objectives of this study are to: 1) understand and explain the role of snow microstructure in terms of the radar backscatter and phase response in this environment; 2) to evaluate the efficacy of differential synthetic aperture radar (dInSAR) for snow accumulation estimates at C-band; and 3) to evaluate the optimal approach to estimating snow water equivalent using radar from this site.

The radar equipment will be deployed over top of the snowpack, and will be used to observe the naturally occurring snow. Other snow pack measurements will include depth, density, grain size, stratigraphy, and temperature. Observation sites will consist of 5 m x 5 m areas on the ground. Adjacent snow pits will be excavated to measure the snow properties listed above. No pits will be left unattended. All pits will be filled in with the excavated snow upon completion.

The research team will likely participate in scientific outreach at the high school or college level by way of classroom presentations. The research team may also give a public presentation of the work at the Aurora Research Institute. The results from this research will also be made available to local residents through the Aurora Research Institute. The plan is being developed at this time.

The results of this study are provided to the Aurora Research Institute and community groups. As well, journal publications involving this work are available either on request, on line, or in the Aurora Research Institute library.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 27, 2017 to April 28, 2017.