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The BOREAS RSS-17 team acquired and analyzed imaging radar data from the ESA's ERS-1 over a complete annual cycle at the BOREAS sites in Canada in 1994 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. The data set presented here includes change maps derived from radar backscatter images that were mosaicked together to cover the southern BOREAS sites. The image values used for calculating the changes are given relative to the reference mosaic image. Due to copyright issues, the 01-March-1994 reference image is not included on the CD-ROM and is not publically available. See the accompanying guide document for information about how to possibly acquire the data. The data are stored in binary image format files.

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):

Way, J., R. Zimmerman, K. McDonald, and E. Rignot. 1999. BOREAS RSS-17 1994 ERS-1 Level-3 Freeze/Thaw Backscatter Change Images. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.


Rignot, E., and J. Way. 1994. Monitoring freeze/thaw cycles along north-south Alaskan transects using ERS-1 SAR. Rem. Sens. Environ. 49:131-137.

Rignot, E. et al. 1994. Monitoring of environmental conditions in taiga forests using ERS-1 SAR. Rem. Sens. Environ. 49:145-154.

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

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., F. Hall, and K.F. Huemmrich. 1996. Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: 1994 Operations. NASA BOREAS Report (OPS DOC 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. 1997. Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study: 1996 Operations. NASA BOREAS Report (OPS DOC 96).

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 (JGR), BOREAS Special Issue, 102(D24), Dec. 1997, pp. 28731-28770.

Way, J., Reiner Zimmermann, Eric Rignot, Kyle McDonald, and Ram Oren 1997. Winter and spring thaw as observed with imaging radar at BOREAS. Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR), BOREAS Special Issue, 102(D24), Dec. 1997, pp. 29673-29684.

Data Format:

There is no data format file for this dataset.

Document Information:

08-Dec-1999 (data citation revised on 26-Sep-2002)

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