Mapping of the DOME-C area in Antarctica by an airborne L-band radiometer

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A 350 × 350 km area near the Concordia station on the high plateau of Dome C in Antarctica has been mapped by an airborne L-band radiometer system. The area was expected to display a rather uniform brightness temperature close to the yearly mean temperature — well suited for calibration checks for spaceborne instruments like SMOS, Aquarius, and SMAP. The measured brightness temperatures shows unexpected variations like 8 K variation on an East-West profile through Concordia, and in certain cases a slope of almost 1 K per km. Comparing the measured brightness temperature map with bottom topography reveals a convincing correlation. Simulations show that variations in bedrock topography can indeed modulate the brightness temperature appropriately to explain the observed variations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS 2014
Number of pages4
Publication date2014
ISBN (Electronic)9781479957750
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event2014 IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium: Energy and our Changing Planet - Quebec City, Canada
Duration: 13 Jul 201418 Jul 2014


Conference2014 IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium
CityQuebec City
OtherIn collaboration with the 35th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing (CSRS)
Internet address


  • Geoscience
  • Antarctica
  • Brightness temperature
  • Calibration
  • L-band
  • radiometer
  • Radiometry
  • Surfaces
  • Temperature measurement


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