Mapping surface roughness and sediment texture of an estuarine intertidal flat using ERS-2 SAR imagery

Daphne Van Der Wal*, Annette Wielemaker-van Den Dool, P. M J Herman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Synoptic information on surface characteristics of estuarine intertidal flats, such as surface roughness and sediment texture, is required to support coastal management. This study aims to derive such information from space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar. Estimates of the backscatter coefficient σ0 were extracted from ESA ERS-2 SAR PRI imagery (acquired during low tide), of an intertidal flat in the Westerschelde, southwest Netherlands. The data were related to matching field measurements of surface roughness (RMSz) and mud content. A significant positive relationship was found between surface roughness and the backscatter coefficient. Surface roughness was also significantly correlated with mud content, with surface ripples being more pronounced in sand than in mud. This resulted in a significant negative correlation between mud content and the backscatter coefficient. The relationships found are used to map the surface characteristics from ERS-2 SAR imagery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2004 Envisat and ERS Symposium; Salzburg; Austria; 6 September 2004 through 10 September 2004
PublisherEuropean Space Agency (ESA)
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
Event2004 ENVISAT/ERS Symposium - Salzburg, Austria
Duration: 6 Sep 200410 Sep 2004

Publication series

NameEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
PublisherEuropean Space Agency
ISSN (Print)0379-6566


Conference2004 ENVISAT/ERS Symposium

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