Application of radar polarimetry techniques for retrieval snow and rain characteristics in remote sensing
The presence of snow cover has significant impacts on the both global and regional climate and water balance on earth. The accurate estimation of snow cover area can be used for forecasting runoff due to snow melt and output of hydroelectric power. With development of remote sensing techniques at different scopes in earth science, enormous algorithms for retrieval hydrometeor parameters have been developed. Some of these algorithms are used to provide snow cover map such as NLR with AVHRR/MODIS sensor for Norway, Finnish with AVHRR sensor for Finland and NASA with MODIS sensor for global maps. Monitoring snow cover at different parts of spectral electromagnetic is detectable (visible, near and thermal infrared, passive and active microwave). Recently, specific capabilities of active microwave remote sensing such as snow extent map, snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE), snow state (wet/dry) and discrimination between rain and snow region were given a strong impetus for using this technology in snow monitoring, hydrology, climatology, avalanche research and etc. This paper evaluates the potentials and feasibility of polarimetric ground microwave measurements of snow in active remote sensing field. We will consider the behavior co- and cross-polarized backscattering coefficients of snowpack response with polarimetric scatterometer in Ku and L band at the different incident angles. Then we will show how to retrieve snow cover depth, snow permittivity and density parameters at the local scale with ground-based SAR (GB-SAR). Finally, for the sake of remarkable significant the transition region between rain and snow; the variables role of horizontal reflectivity (Z HH) and differential reflectivity (Z DR) in delineation boundary between snow and rain and some others important variables at polarimetric weather radar are presented.