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The Remote Sensing Science team #17 (RSS-17) of the BOReal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) acquired and analyzed imaging radar data from the European Space Agency (ESA) Earth resources Satellite (ERS-1). The data cover a complete annual cycle at the BOREAS sites in Canada in 1994 and were obtained to detect shifts in radar backscatter related to varying environmental conditions. Two independent transitions corresponding to soil thaw and possible canopy thaw were revealed by the data. The results demonstrated that radar provides an ability to observe thaw transitions at the beginning of the growing season, which in turn helps constrain the length of the growing season. Images and information about the research results are contained in the document BOREAS RSS-17 1994 ERS-1 Level-3 Freeze/Thaw Backscatter Change Images. This document describes the complete set of ERS-1 images that were acquired for BOREAS from December 1993 to August 1995.

ESA has a policy that ERS-1 data may be distributed only to ESA-approved investigators; hence, the referenced ERS-1 images may not be utilized without first requesting an authorization from ESA.

A guide document which includes more information about this data set can be found at

ORNL DAAC maintains information on the entire BOREAS Project.

Data Citation

Cite this data set as follows (citation revised on October 29, 2002):

Newcomer, J. A., J. Nickeson, and J. Way. 2000. BOREAS RSS-17 ERS-1 Images. Data set. Available with restrictions from Oak Ridge National Laboratory Distributed Active Archive Center, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. [].


Sellers, P. and F. Hall. 1994. Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: Experiment Plan. Version 1994-3.0, NASA BOREAS Report (EXPLAN 94).

Sellers, P. and F. Hall. 1996. Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: Experiment Plan. Version 1996-2.0, NASA BOREAS Report (EXPLAN 96).

Sellers, P., F. Hall, and K.F. Huemmrich. 1996. Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: 1994 Operations. NASA BOREAS Report (OPS DOC 94).

Sellers, P., F. Hall, and K.F. Huemmrich. 1997. Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: 1996 Operations. NASA BOREAS Report (OPS DOC 96).

Sellers, P., F. Hall, H. Margolis, B. Kelly, D. Baldocchi, G. den Hartog, J. Cihlar, M.G. Ryan, B. Goodison, P. Crill, K.J. Ranson, D. Lettenmaier, and D.E. Wickland. 1995. The boreal ecosystem-atmosphere study (BOREAS): an overview and early results from the 1994 field year. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 76(9):1549-1577.

Sellers, P.J., F.G. Hall, R.D. Kelly, A. Black, D. Baldocchi, J. Berry, M. Ryan, K.J. Ranson, P.M. Crill, D.P. Lettenmaier, H. Margolis, J. Cihlar, J. Newcomer, D. Fitzjarrald, P.G. Jarvis, S.T. Gower, D. Halliwell, D. Williams, B. Goodison, D.E. Wickland, and F.E. Guertin. 1997. BOREAS in 1997: Experiment Overview, Scientific Results and Future Directions. Journal of Geophysical Research 102 (D24): 28,731-28,770.

Data Format:

For information on Parameter/Variable Names, Variable Description/Definition, Units of Measurement, and Data File Format see this companion file

Document Information:

13-Jan-2000 (data citation revised on 27-Sep-2002)

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