EPISODIC EVENTS ON RADAR AND MULTISPECTRAL REMOTE SENSORS FROM SALAR DE AGUAS CALIENTES, CHILE
Keywords: Sentinel-1, snowfall, flooding, Salar de Aguas Calientes Sur, Chile
Abstract. Restricted episodic changes occurred in a short time period and over large spatial extents. Extreme weather conditions usually give rise to restricted episodic changes. Sentinel-1 radar images of the Salar de Aguas Calientes in Chile acquired in the Altiplanic winter (March 2015 and June 2017), 2018 austral winter and 2017–2018 springtime, demonstrates the ability to monitor episodic events remotely. The results of the backscattered power are encouraging and show episodic variations in VV polarization at C-band. The surface features in Salar de Aguas Calientes Sur change in response to snowfalls during either the Altiplanic or austral winter with an increase of the backscattering in presence of dry snow over the salt pan crust. Flooding events related to snow-melting during spring 2017–2018 showed a decrease in the backscattering signal over ponded water and an increase when wind blows over the water. Remote-sensing observations of the salar can provide a means for monitoring changes in the surface of the salar and a better understanding of the associated climatic episodic event processes. Furthermore, it can help to have a better understanding of environmental changes in arid regions and the understanding of global climate change.