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Reconstruction and Evaluation of DEMs from Bistatic TanDEM-X SAR in Mountainous and Coastal Areas of China

Lookup NU author(s): Yasir Al-Husseinawi



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


CCBYTerraSAR-X add-on for Digital Elevation Measurements (Tan-DEM-X) mission is designed to generate three-dimensional imag-es of the Earth as the first bistatic synthetic aperture radar (SAR). However, few quantitative studies of TanDEM-X DEM quality validation have been conducted specifically in China. This article presents an iterative method to generate high-resolution Tan-DEM-X DEMs and assesses the vertical accuracy with high-accuracy GPS observations, 1 arc second global DEMs available (AW3D30 v2.2, ASTER GDEM v3, SRTM v3.1, NASADEM, and X-band SRTM), and TanDEM-X 90m DEM. The results demonstrate remarkable elevation quality and con-sistency in coastal areas with root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.7m and 90% linear error (LE90) of 0.4m, whereas 3-4 times weaker accuracies in steep mountainous areas. A positive bias of 1-2m for an overall LE90 measure exists in the dense vegetation and steep-slope mountainous areas. TanDEM-X DEM-based InSAR deformation uncertainty simulation indicates a low or even negligible topographic error contribution of 2-4mm in mountainous areas and less than 1mm in coastal areas. It indi-cates that the TanDEM-X DEM performs better than other glob-al DEMs overall and show a better elevation consistence with SRTM C-band DEM in the coastal area. As an excellent source of up-to-date information, the TanDEM-X DEM are expected be an advantage for understanding dynamic land use changes and improving identification and delineation of coastal lands, moun-tainous landslides, and earthquakes disasters.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li P, Li Z, Dai K, Al-Husseinawi Y, Feng W, Wang H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing

Year: 2021

Volume: 14

Pages: 5152-5170

Online publication date: 16/04/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 10/05/2021

ISSN (print): 1939-1404

ISSN (electronic): 2151-1535

Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.


DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2021.3073782


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