Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) has been used to detect relative water level changes in wetlands. We developed an innovative method to integrate InSAR and satellite radar altimetry for measuring absolute or geocentric water level changes and applied the methodology to remote areas of swamp forest in coastal Louisiana. Coherence analysis of InSAR pairs suggested that the HH polarization is preferred for this type of observation, and polarimetric analysis can help to identify double-bounce backscattering areas in the wetland. ENVISAT radar altimeter-measured 18-Hz (along-track sampling of 417 m) water level data processed with regional stackfile method have been used to provide vertical references for water bodies separated by levees. The high-resolution (~ 40 m) relative water changes measured from ALOS PALSAR L-band and Radarsat-1 C-band InSAR are then integrated with ENVISAT radar altimetry to obtain absolute water level. The resulting water level time series were validated with in situ gauge observations within the swamp forest. We anticipate that this new technique will allow retrospective reconstruction and concurrent monitoring of water conditions and flow dynamics in wetlands, especially those lacking gauge networks. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc.
Additional publication details
Integrated analysis of PALSAR/Radarsat-1 InSAR and ENVISAT altimeter data for mapping of absolute water level changes in Louisiana wetlands