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Measuring Ice Thicknesses along the Red River in Canada Using RADARSAT-2 Satellite Imagery

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DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2010.211110    5,687 Downloads   10,539 Views Citations


The spring flood of 2009 in the Red River Valley was exacerbated with severe ice breakup and ice jamming. To assist ice jam mitigation by cutting and breaking up the river ice cover before the flood season and to support the operation of the Red River Floodway, Manitoba Water Stewardship is striving to model the occurrence of ice breakup and simulate the behaviour of ice jamming along the river. An important parameter in ice breakup forecasting is the ice thickness. RADARSAT-2 standard satellite images were collected along the course of the Red River in Manitoba during the 2009-2010 winter to help determine ice thicknesses along the river. Standard images can have transmit-receive polarizations in the horizontal-horizontal (HH) or horizontal-vertical (HV) configurations. Ice thickness measurements were taken in the field during the same time frame when the satellite passed over the Red River Valley. Good correlations were obtained between the HH-backscatter readings and the surveyed ice thicknesses. HV-backscatter readings correlate better with fresh snow depth measurements. Additionally, using same sensor incident angle and flight geometry allows ice thickening rate behavior over the course of the winter to be determined.

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K. Lindenschmidt, G. Syrenne and R. Harrison, "Measuring Ice Thicknesses along the Red River in Canada Using RADARSAT-2 Satellite Imagery," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 2 No. 11, 2010, pp. 923-933. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2010.211110.

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