ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
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Articles | Volume III-7
ISPRS Ann. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., III-7, 9–16, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-annals-III-7-9-2016
ISPRS Ann. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., III-7, 9–16, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/isprs-annals-III-7-9-2016

  07 Jun 2016

07 Jun 2016

A NEW HIGH-RESOLUTION ELEVATION MODEL OF GREENLAND DERIVED FROM TANDEM-X

B. Wessel1, A. Bertram1,2, A. Gruber1, S. Bemm1,2, and S. Dech1 B. Wessel et al.
  • 1German Aerospace Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center, 82234 Wessling, Germany
  • 2Sachverständigenbüro für Luftbildauswertung und Umweltfragen (SLU), 81243 Munich, Germany

Keywords: DEM, Greenland, TanDEM-X, ICESat, penetration depth, block adjustment

Abstract. In this paper we present for the first time the new digital elevation model (DEM) for Greenland produced by the TanDEM-X (TerraSAR add-on for digital elevation measurement) mission. The new, full coverage DEM of Greenland has a resolution of 0.4 arc seconds corresponding to 12 m. It is composed of more than 7.000 interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) DEM scenes. X-Band SAR penetrates the snow and ice pack by several meters depending on the structures within the snow, the acquisition parameters, and the dielectricity constant of the medium. Hence, the resulting SAR measurements do not represent the surface but the elevation of the mean phase center of the backscattered signal. Special adaptations on the nominal TanDEM-X DEM generation are conducted to maintain these characteristics and not to raise or even deform the DEM to surface reference data. For the block adjustment, only on the outer coastal regions ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite) elevations as ground control points (GCPs) are used where mostly rock and surface scattering predominates. Comparisons with ICESat data and snow facies are performed. In the inner ice and snow pack, the final X-Band InSAR DEM of Greenland lies up to 10 m below the ICESat measurements. At the outer coastal regions it corresponds well with the GCPs. The resulting DEM is outstanding due to its resolution, accuracy and full coverage. It provides a high resolution dataset as basis for research on climate change in the arctic.