Image Processing Reference
In-Depth Information
Figure3.16 Radar image of Angkor in Cambodia. (CourtesyofNASA)
ancient drainage system, known as Wadi Kufra, has two branches radiating from
the settlements in the top center part of the image. The east branch of the river,
which is on the right side of the image, is completely buried in sand and was
unknown until SIR-C/X-SAR imaged the area. This information has been used as
a “road map” by archaeologists searching for stone-age implements along ancient
riverbanks.
Imaging radar has also been used to discover some interesting geological
features on Earth. The Antarctic continent is covered with a vast sheet of thick
ice that contains 70% of the world's fresh water. This massive amount of ice is
the result of millions of years of snowfall without any melting. The ice sheet is
over 4 km deep in places, and contains geologic information such as atmospheric
composition and average temperature locked into the layers of ice. There are a
number of subglacial lakes: liquid water trapped underneath the layers of ice and
warmed from below by geothermal heat.
The largest of these lakes is Lake Vostok. Vostok is Russian for “east,” and Lake
Vostok is situated in East Antarctica, near the Russian base Vostok. It is 50 km by
240 km (about the size of Lake Ontario) and lies beneath about 3.5 km of ice. Its
maximum depth is 500 m, making it one of the largest lakes in the world. Lake
Vostok was unknown until aircraft with radar altimeters flew over the area in the
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