Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2321
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2321
21 Dec 2023
 | 21 Dec 2023

Exploring the use of Sentinel-1 to monitor spatial and temporal evolution of permafrost in the Swiss Alps

Kristina Juliana Reinders, Govert Frederik Verhoeven, Luca Sartorelli, Ramon Hanssen, and Andrea Manconi

Abstract. In this work, we assess the performance of Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) based on Sentinel-1 data in the Swiss Alps, focusing on the analysis of surface displacement in areas located in permafrost. To this end, we exploit a PSI dataset over Canton Wallis and the recently published permafrost and ground ice map of Switzerland (PGIM). First we evaluate the sensitivity to radar detection of the terrain, given a particular slope distribution and given satellite orbital geometries. We find that 92 % of the areas currently labeled as permafrost satisfy the geometric visibility criteria, which is a necessary but not sufficient condition for detection of ground movement by satellite radar. Second, we analyse the PSI surface velocity and displacement time series observed in Canton Wallis in the period 2015 to 2022. We find that the displacements rates appear to be correlated with the occurrence of permafrost and that there is a significant difference in displacement rates between ice-poor and ice-rich permafrost compared to no-permafrost zones. However, the difference between the surface velocities retrieved in ice-poor permafrost and no-permafrost zones are small and additional information would be needed to discriminate ice-poor permafrost zones.

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Kristina Juliana Reinders, Govert Frederik Verhoeven, Luca Sartorelli, Ramon Hanssen, and Andrea Manconi

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2321', Reynald Delaloye, 19 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Kristina Juliana Reinders, 05 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2321', Anonymous Referee #2, 28 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Kristina Juliana Reinders, 05 Apr 2024
Kristina Juliana Reinders, Govert Frederik Verhoeven, Luca Sartorelli, Ramon Hanssen, and Andrea Manconi
Kristina Juliana Reinders, Govert Frederik Verhoeven, Luca Sartorelli, Ramon Hanssen, and Andrea Manconi

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Short summary
We investigated if radar data from the Sentinel-1 satellite can be used to assess displacements in permafrost areas in the Swiss alps. We discovered that 92 % of the permafrost areas can be visible with Sentinel-1. Next, based on displacement times series derived from radar data we revealed that the ground movements in permafrost areas are 2–3 times as large than in permafrost without areas. This result can help in monitoring permafrost areas and update current permafrost maps.