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I. The effect of volcanic aerosols on ultraviolet radiation in Antarctica. II. A novel method for enhancing subsurface radar imaging using radar interferometry


Tsitas, Steven R. (1998) I. The effect of volcanic aerosols on ultraviolet radiation in Antarctica. II. A novel method for enhancing subsurface radar imaging using radar interferometry. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/fc8p-nd23.


The theory of radiative transfer is used to explain how a stratospheric aerosol layer may, for large solar zenith angles, increase the flux of UV-B light at the ground. As previous explanations are heuristic and incomplete, I first provide a rigorous and complete explanation of how this occurs. I show that an aerosol layer lying above Antarctica during spring will decrease the integrated daily dose of biologically weighted irradiance, weighted by the erythema action spectrum, by only up to 5%. Thus after a volcanic eruption, life in Antarctica during spring will suffer the combined effects of the spring ozone hole and ozone destruction induced by volcanic aerosols, with the latter effect only slightly offset by aerosol scattering.

I extend subsurface radar imaging by considering the additional information that may be derived from radar interferometry. I show that, under the conditions that temporal and spatial decorrelation between observations is small so that the effects of these decorrelations do not swamp the signature expected from a subsurface layer, the depth of burial of the lower surface may be derived. Also, the echoes from the lower and upper surfaces may be separated. The method is tested with images acquired by SIR-C of the area on the Egypt/Sudan border where buried river channels were first observed by SIR-A. Temporal decorrelation between the images, due to some combination of physical changes in the scene, changes in the spacecraft attitude and errors in the processing by NASA of the raw radar echoes into the synthetic aperture radar images, swamps the expected signature for a layer up to 40 meters thick. I propose a test to determine whether or not simultaneous observations are required, and then detail the radar system requirements for successful application of the method for both possible outcomes of the test. I also describe in detail the possible applications of the method. These include measuring the depth of burial of ice in the polar regions of Mars, enhancing the visibility of buried features and, most importantly, the ability to map soil moisture in arid regions of the earth at high spatial resolution.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Planetary Science and Astronomy
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Planetary Sciences
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:7 January 1998
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:01302013-102418285
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7456
Deposited On:30 Jan 2013 18:38
Last Modified:09 Nov 2022 19:19

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