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Geomorphological mapping of ice-free areas using polarimetric RADARSAT-2 data on Fildes Peninsula and Ardley Island, Antarctica

By Thomas Schmid, Jerónimo López-Martínez, Stéphane Guillaso, Enrique Serrano, Olivier D'Hondt, Magaly Koch, Ana Nieto, Tanya O'Neill, Sandra Mink, Juan José Durán Valsero and Adolfo Maestro


International audienceSatellite-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has been used for characterizing and mapping in two relevant ice-free areas in the South Shetland Islands. The objective has been to identify and characterize land surface covers that mainly include periglacial and glacial landforms, using fully polarimetric SAR C band RADARSAT-2 data, on Fildes Peninsula that forms part of King George Island, and Ardley Island. Polarimetric parameters obtained from the SAR data, a selection of field based training and validation sites and a supervised classification approach, using the support vector machine were chosen to determine the spatial distribution of the different landforms. Eight periglacial and glacial landforms were characterized according to their scattering mechanisms using a set of 48 polarimetric parameters. The mapping of the most representative surface covers included colluvial deposits, stone fields and pavements, patterned grounds, glacial till and rock outcrops, lakes and glacier ice. The overall accuracy of the results was estimated at 81%, a significant value when mapping areas that are within isolated regions where access is limited. Periglacial surface covers such as stone fields and pavements occupy 25% and patterned grounds over 20% of the ice-free areas. These are results that form the basis for an extensive monitoring of the ice-free areas throughout the northern Antarctic Peninsula region

Topics: Periglacial, Ice-free areas, RADARSAT-2, Polarimetry, South Shetland Islands, Geomorphology, [SDE]Environmental Sciences, [SPI]Engineering Sciences [physics]
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.09.031
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:hal-01407386v1
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