In 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake occurred off the pacific coast of Tohoku area of Japan. Accompanied with the
subsequent tsunami, it caused serious damages on buildings, infrastructures and so on, in the coast area. We made
observations of the damaged areas by the NICT airborne X-band synthetic aperture radar (SAR) system, “Pi-SAR2”,
immediately after the earthquake. Pi-SAR2 can produce fully polarimetric radar images with high spatial resolution of
0.3 m. The image data were used to estimate the damages in detail and quantitatively. We have found that the high
resolution radar image data are useful to estimate damaged buildings, flooded areas and amount of debris. Multitemporal
observations are essential to reveal those changes.
We chose the Kushiro wetland in Hokkaido, Japan, as a test site to monitor wetland areas. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) can carry out continuous observation in any weather conditions, and can therefore be used to observe high humidity areas such as wetlands. We applied multi-parameter SAR data (dual-frequency, multi-polarization, and multi-incidence angle) to monitoring the wetland forest. To find the optimum incidence angle and polarization for monitoring the wetland biomass, a simple backscattering model of wetland vegetation was developed and applied to estimate backscattering coefficients for different biomass and surface conditions.