Abstract

Side-looking, C-band synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) penetrates cloud and fog, and operates day or night, to produce pseudo-three-dimensional terrain images with enhanced topography and surface roughness. The images, which have a 20 m resolution and cover large areas, have been used to map the regional trends, patterns of lineaments, and terrain types over a 6200 km2 area of complex lithology, structure, and drift cover. Four lineament classes are differentiated. Glacial trends are clear, and bedrock structures (faults, fractures, joints, foliation, and folded bedding) with relief expression at the surface show through the drift as lineaments. They accurately reproduce most known features when compared with bedrock and Quatenary geology maps. Hitherto unrecognized structural elements are revealed. Tones and textures reflect minute surface roughness variations useful in terrain classification. SAR wide-swath-mode imagery is thus a valuable complement to aerial photography, and is superior in revealing hummocky moraine, ribbed moraine, boulder fields and stony till. Wider use of this imagery is encouraged.

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