Frozen State Backscatter Intensity from Sentinel-1, 2015-2016, West Siberia (RU)

Widhalm, Barbara; Bartsch, Annett; Goler, Robert

Frozen state backscatter intensity was derived from Sentinel-1 acquisitions from December 2015 and 2016. By excluding the effects of liquid water content (acquisitions under frozen conditions), backscatter only depends on surface roughness and vegetation structure. C-HH winter backscatter could be shown to correspond to wetness levels. Smooth surfaces represent wetter areas than rough surfaces (with respect to wavelength, ~5.6 cm). In addition, C-band SAR information (frozen condition) can be directly translated into soil organic carbon content of the upper 0-100 cm for areas without woody vegetation.

For the retrieval of wetness levels the following backscatter ranges are suggested (based on CAVM wetness characterization, Widhalm et al. 2015, 2018):

  • -18 dB to -15.5 dB: wet
  • -15.5 dB to -14.2 dB: medium wetness
  • larger than -14.2 dB: dry or trees/higher shrubs
  • smaller than -18 dB: other (includes sandy surfaces)

The completet dataset covers the following regions: Yamal peninsula (Russia), Usa Basin (Russia), Lena Delta (Russia), Mackenzie Delta (Canada), Barrow, Toolik and Teshekpuk Lake region (Alaska). Click the 'Groups' tab above for an overview of all datasets.

More information about image processing can be found in the product guide and the related publications.


In order to use these data, you must cite this data set with the following citation:


Bartsch, Annett

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Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Identifier 10.1594/PANGAEA.897046
Project(s) ESA GlobPermafrost
Institute ZAMG Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik
Publication Date 2019
Version 1.0
Product Frozen State Backscatter Intensity
Sensor Sentinel-1
  1. Normalized HH backscatter
Variables [Units]
  1. Backscatter intensity (Sigma0 at 30°) [dB: 0 to -30]
Region Western Siberia
Spatial Reference EPSG:32642 WGS 84 / UTM zone 42N
Spatial Resolution 30 m
Spatial Coverage Latitude 66.11 to 73.55, Longitude 58.67 to 83.03
Temporal Coverage December 2016
Temporal Resolution
Format Geotiff
Is Supplement To
Related to

Dataset extent

Map tiles and data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.