Numerical Analysis of Microwave Scattering from Layered Sea Ice Based on the Finite Element Method
A two-dimensional scattering model based on the Finite Element Method (FEM) is built for simulating the microwave scattering of sea ice, which is a layered medium. The scattering problem solved by the FEM is formulated following a total- and scattered-field decomposition strategy. The model set-up is first validated with good agreements by comparing the results of the FEM with those of the small perturbation method and the method of moment. Subsequently, the model is applied to two cases of layered sea ice to study the effect of subsurface scattering. The first case is newly formed sea ice which has scattering from both air–ice and ice–water interfaces. It is found that the backscattering has a strong oscillation with the variation of sea ice thickness. The found oscillation effects can increase the difficulty of retrieving the thickness of newly formed sea ice from the backscattering data. The second case is first-year sea ice with C-shaped salinity profiles. The scattering model accounts for the variations in the salinity profile by approximating the profile as consisting of a number of homogeneous layers. It is found that the salinity profile variations have very little influence on the backscattering for both C- and L-bands. The results show that the sea ice can be considered to be homogeneous with a constant salinity value in modelling the backscattering and it is difficult to sense the salinity profile of sea ice from the backscattering data, because the backscattering is insensitive to the salinity profile.
Source at https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091332.