Ionospheric Correction of L-Band SAR Offset Measurements for the Precise Observation of Glacier Velocity Variations on Novaya Zemlya

Sung Ho Chae, Won Jin Lee, Hyung Sup Jung, Lei Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The synthetic aperture radar (SAR) offset tracking method has been widely used for multitemporal analysis of fast glacier movements in the polar region. However, it can be severely distorted, particularly in the case of L-band SAR systems mainly due to a frequent occurrence of ionospheric effects in the polar region. In this study, we developed an efficient method to extract and correct the ionospheric contribution from SAR offset tracking measurements. The method exploits an iterative directional filtering approach, which is based on the pattern and directionality of ionospheric streaks. The measurement performance of the proposed method was evaluated by using three L-band advanced land observing satellite phased array type L-band synthetic aperture radar pairs. Our results showed that the proposed correction achieved the improved measurement accuracies from 4.68-23.88 to 1.03-1.51 m/yr. It means that the accuracies of corrected measurements were about 5-16 times better than those of the original measurements. From the results, we concluded that our correction technique is highly suitable for the precise measurement of the glacier displacements even in the presence of strong ionospheric effects. Using the proposed method, the variations of glacier velocities were measured in the Vylki, Shury, and Kropotnika glaciers on Novaya Zemlya, which is located in the Russian Arctic Ocean, and the grounding zones were detected from the measurements in the Shury and Kropotnika glaciers. It further confirmed that the proposed correction method is allowed for the precise monitoring of glacier movements. However, in cases of severe ionosphere-distorted measurements, the proposed method may be limitedly applied.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7907284
Pages (from-to)3591-3603
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Glacier velocity variations
  • L-band SAR image
  • Novaya Zemlya
  • SAR offset tracking
  • ionospheric effects
  • ionospheric streak correction
  • synthetic aperture radar (SAR)


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