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Wang, Lingxiao; Marzahn, Philip; Bernier, Monique; Jacome, Andres; Poulin, Jimmy; Ludwig, Ralf (2017): Comparison of TerraSAR-X and ALOS PALSAR Differential Interferometry With Multisource DEMs for Monitoring Ground Displacement in a Discontinuous Permafrost Region. In: Ieee Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, Vol. 10, No. 9: pp. 4074-4093
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Differential synthetic aperture radar interferometry (DInSAR) has shown its capability in monitoring ground displacement caused by the freeze-thaw cycle in the active layer of permafrost regions. However, the unique landscape in the discontinuous permafrost zone increases the difficulty of applying DInSAR to detect ground displacements. In this study, datasets from two radar systems, X-band TerraSAR-X and L-band ALOS PALSAR, were used to evaluate the influencing factors and application conditions for DInSAR in the discontinuous permafrost environment based on a large number of analyzed interferograms. Furthermore, the impact of different DEMs on the application of DInSAR was illustrated by comparing the high-resolution LiDAR-DEM, TanDEM-X DEM, and SRTM DEM. The results demonstrate that temporal decorrelation and strong volume decorrelation in areas with developed vegetation highly constrains the application of X-band data. In terrain with more developed vegetation (such as shrubs and spruce), the X-band differential phase becomes linked to the canopy rather than the topography, whereas L-band data show promising results in retrieving topography-related displacement. By comparing the displacement velocity maps of the two sensors and referencing in situ measurements, we demonstrated that the ALOS PALSAR results capture the permafrost-induced terrain movement characteristics and values in the correct range. Moreover, the influence of soil moisture and vegetation phenology on the accuracy of displacement retrievals using the L-band data are illustrated and discussed. The analyses confirm that the L-band has strong advantages over the X-band in monitoring displacements in discontinuous permafrost environments.