The expected potential of TerraSAR-X high resolution spotlight mode data for shallow sea bottom topography imaging: a preview

Hennings, Ingo and Herbers, D. (2007) The expected potential of TerraSAR-X high resolution spotlight mode data for shallow sea bottom topography imaging: a preview EARSeL eProceedings, 6 (2). pp. 67-81.

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An improved radar imaging theory of marine sand wave signatures based on quasi-specular scat-tering is presented. For quasi-specular scattering from a rough ocean surface, the normalised ra-dar cross section (NRCS) is proportional to the total variance of slopes created by ocean surface waves. Quasi-specular scattering becomes dominant at higher radar frequencies. The formulated theory is applicable to the X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) of TerraSAR-X, Germany’s first civil national remote sensing satellite realised by a public-private partnership. The improved quasi-scattering theory contains the additional dependences on the up- and crosswind wave slopes, the angle between the upwind and perpendicular current direction to the sand wave crest, and the an-gle between the radar range direction and the upwind direction. The current-short surface wave interaction is described by weak hydrodynamic interaction theory in the relaxation time approxima-tion. Detailed TerraSAR-X data with a spatial resolution of up to 1 m and up to 1.5 dB radiometric resolution will be used with the advantage to be nearly weather independent. The investigation area is the tidal channel of the Lister Tief in the German Bight of the North Sea characterised by large morphological changes of four-dimensional submarine bedforms in time and space. Due to the high spatial resolution of the TerraSAR-X data it will be possible to identify sea surface rough-ness variations caused by meso-scale sand waves < 300 m widths at water depths < 40 m and associated unique oceanographic phenomena such as up- and downwelling events, turbulence, and eddies. The proposed measurement configuration and all needed in situ data are described. Advanced knowledge of transport characteristics of marine sand waves is very important for ship navigation and coastal zone management.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Geophysics; Quasi-specular scattering theory; TerraSAR-X; high resolution spotlight mode; Lister Tief, marine sand waves
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: No
ISSN: 1729-3782
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2009 14:57
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2012 14:56

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