Multifrequency airborne radar image data of SP Mountain [Official name of feature (U.S. Geological Survey, 1970)] and SP flow (and vicinity) in north-central Arizona were obtained in diverse viewing directions and direct and cross-polarization, then compared with surface and aerial photography, LANDSAT multispectral scanner data, airborne thermal infrared imagery, surface geology, and surface roughness statistics. The extremely blocky, basaltic andesite of SP flow is significantly brighter on direct-polarization K-band (0.9-cm wavelength) images than on cross-polarized images taken simultaneously. Conversely, for the longer wavelength (25 cm) L-band radar images, the cross-polarization image returns from SP flow are brighter than the direct-polarized image. This effect is explained by multiple scattering and the strong wavelength dependence of polarization effects caused by the rectilinear basaltic andesite scatters. Two distinct types of surface relief on SP flow, one extremely blocky, the other subdued, are found to be clearly discriminated on the visible and thermal wavelength images but are separable only on the longer wavelength L-band radar image data. The inability of the K- and X- (3-cm wavelength) band radars to portray the differences in roughness between the two SP flow surface units is attributed to the radar frequency dependence of the surface-relief scale, which, described as the Rayleigh criterion, represents the transition between quasispecular and primarily diffuse backscatter. ?? 1980.
Additional publication details
Remote sensing data of SP Mountain and SP Lava flow in North-Central Arizona