Snow Depth Estimation

Hello everyone,
Is there a possible way or algorithm to find out the snow depth of any glacier from Sentinel 1 SAR data? If anyone has any material regarding the same, please help!

Would you please to take a look at this topic, in case you didn’t notice it earlier ,

Thank you!
But,nowhere it discusses about the possibility of calculating the snow depth using any algorithm or if it is possible at all. Please,throw some light if you’re aware anything regarding the same.

I’m trying to help up, unfortunately it is not my topic, but during the reading in STEP FORUM, I keep in my mind the topics, in case of someone askes about something I already read, to draw the attention of my colleagues, while they are searching and didn’t find their demand, due to a huge numbers of topics and comments. But take a look at topics @marjanmarbouti she is working more less in this topic. good luck.

Thank you Falah :slight_smile:

Hi @anup_upadhyaya,

As all SAR sensors, Sentinel-1 C band is able to penetrate through the ground in some extend.

I will cite the words of Charles Elachi from “Spaceborne radar remote sensing : applications and techniques” :

A surface covered with two meters of pure snow will not be visible at frequencies above 10GHz, while the snow cover is effectively transparent at a wavelength of 1.2 GHz.

With S-1, we are in a in-between case. Moreover :

Moisture is a key factor affecting the penetration depth

Based on that, will it be possible to estimate snow depth ? I highly doubt it. The thing is that the penetration of Sentinel-1 is not super reliable. With moisture that highly controls the process. With lower frequencies, it may work better.

I think Sentinel-3 would give you better estimates, if its low resolution is not a problem in your case.


I agree with qglaude. Absolute estimates based on simple relationships are probably not easy to achieve.

Some approaches use polarimetric SAR to conduct tomogaphic information for snow depth. This, however, requires fully-polarized radar data and Sentinel-1 is dual only.