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Morphological Profiles of Sand Dunes from ICESat-2 Geolocated Photons

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Document pages: 21 pages

Abstract: Aeolian process leads to the transportation and accumulation of sand particles that result in sand dune landforms. The structure and shape of the sand dunes are driven by the parameters of interacting wind force and the material composition of sand within. Cross-section profiles over the sand dunes will essay the geomorphological parameters through which the steady state and rate of sand transport can be computed. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s novel satellite namely Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) hosts a solo sensor namely Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) which is a photon counting instrument that measures the round-trip time of the light pulse being emitted and reflected back from the surface determines the true height of the topographic feature on the Earth. In this article, cross-section profiles generated from the beams of ICESat-2 ground-tracks acquired over sand dunes of the Thar Desert region were analysed for detecting the geomorphological parameters. Observations from the cross-section profiles have resulted in giving unprecedented details about the shapes and morphological settings of various types of sand dunes like barchanoids, parabolic, longitudinal, and transverse dunes. Morphological parameters of sand dunes like the length of the stoss slope, crest height, slip face details, inter-arms spacing, height of the trailing arms, length of the depositional lobes, and sinuosity of the recurring crest lines were retrieved with ease from the Level-2A data product namely ATL03 of ICESat-2 ATLAS.

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