Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 5:22 EDT
Volgograd Russia
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Volgograd, Russia

January 16, 2006
This ASAR APP image shows an area centered over the city of Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, along the western bank of the Volga. In this image, the Volga (the longest river in Europe with a length of 3700 km) flows south from the top to the center of the image, then east from the center to the right. Volgograd is the major River Volga port and the Eastern terminus of the Volga-Don Canal. The image is a color composite where the red channel contains the HV polarized image, the green channel contains the HH polarized image and the blue channel contains the ratio between the amplitude in HV and HH. Urban areas with sparse vegetation, like Volgograd in the Western bank of the Volga, are generally visible in yellow-green tones indicating equally high backscatter in HH and HV. Blue tones in the image indicate low HH and HV backscattering, being the HV backscattering higher than HH, corresponding to the Volga River, channels, lakes or wet areas. The use of cross-polarized data improves the discrimination between surface scattering and volume scattering. Smooth surfaces, such as bare soils or areas with low vegetation appear in green tones (dominant HH backscattering) while vegetated areas appear in orange tones due to high HV backscattering associated to volume scattering. The pattern of eddies observed in orange tones from center to right in the image corresponds to numerous meander bends covered by vegetation (high HV backscattering) on the Volga's floodplain. The Volga-Don Canal can be seen in blue color flowing to the west from the south part of Stalingrad. This canal, constructed between 1950 and 1957, links the Caspian and Black seas. Some ships are clearly seen in the river Volga. The ship detection is highly improved with the use in this image of dual polarized data and a high incidence angle. The parallel lines seen in the left part of the image correspond to lines of trees used as wind breaks and they extend across Russia for hundreds of kilometers. A large hydroelectric power dam can be seen in yellow color over the river, just north of the city. Above this dam, the Volga River forms a reservoir called Volgogradskoye. The day the image was taken, a part of this reservoir was covered by ice, appearing in the image in green dark tones (dominant HH backscattering).

Technical Information:
  • Satellite: Envisat
  • Instrument: ASAR
  • Acquisition: 16-Apr-2003
  • Orbit nr: 05886
  • Center coordinates: lat. 48.59, lon. 44.82