Assessment of Backscatter Variations in Tundra Regions with Respect to Uncertainties in Soil Moisture Retrieval
Högström, Elin; Bartsch, Annett
Vienna University of Technology, AUSTRIA

Knowledge of surface hydrology has important implications for many application areas, including those aiming to improve our understanding of permafrost response and feedback in a changing climate. Today, advances in remote-sensing techniques and retrieval algorithms can provide a range of landsurface parameters, including soil moisture products derived from radar backscatter. However, it has previously been pointed out that soil moisture retrieval can be challenging in high latitudes due to e.g. frozen ground conditions, landscape heterogeneity and seasonal variations in landcover type. This study investigates backscatter changes other than associated with changing soil moisture. ENVISAT ASAR data are utilized for quantification of potential impacts on Metop ASCAT soil moisture retrieval during the snow free period. Focus is on issues specific to the arctic, notably on variations related to water bodies.