Title page for ETD etd-10272008-132211

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Boon, Dirk Francois
Email dfboon@gmail.com
URN etd-10272008-132211
Document Title The link between daily rainfall and satellite radar backscatter data from the ERS-2 scatterometer in the Free State Province, South Africa
Degree MA (Environment and Society)
Department Geography, Geo-Informatics and Meteorology
Advisor Name Title
Dr I U Stengel Committee Chair
Dr D Terblanche Committee Co-Chair
  • scatterometer
  • dielectric properties of surfaces
  • radar backscatter
Date 2007-04-23
Availability unrestricted
Radar backscatter intensity data from the ERS-1 and ERS-2 scatterometers are compared with daily rainfall data in two areas in the Free State province of South Africa. Knowledge of the relation between daily rainfall data and ERS C-band scatterometer data for a specific area can be useful to make reliable soil moisture measurements. The assumption is made that an increase in rainfall will lead to higher radar backscatter data values. This is based on the fact that moisture increases the dielectric properties of surfaces. This leads to higher backscatter intensities when incident radar energy is reflected back to the sensor.

Various techniques are used to study the relationship between daily rainfall data and ERS scattrerometer data. It includes correlations, interpolations, visual interpretations, statistical analysis, and a simple model.

Weak positive correlations were found between radar and rainfall data in arid areas. This is supported by literature regarding the Sahel. No correlation was found in agricultural areas receiving more rainfall. Vegetation also increases radar backscatter intensities, even in the absence of rain. There is thus a relationship between rainfall and radar data but it is more visible in arid areas and over longer periods of time.

2004, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Boon, DF 2004, The link between daily rainfall and satellite radar backscatter data from the ERS-2 scatterometer in the Free State Province, South Africa, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10272008-132211/ >


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