Urban expansion in Asia, 1999-2009, as seen with the SeaWinds scatterometer
Buildings and other metropolitan/industrial structures are efficient microwave backscattering surfaces, and so urban/industrial construction causes microwave backscatter to increase. We analyze a ten-year record of SeaWinds Quikscat Ku-band microwave backscatter from East, South, and Southeast Asia to document the expansion of major metropolitan and industrial areas in that region during the past decade (1999-2009). We identify ~40 major metropolitan regions that show substantial increases in both extent and backscatter brightness. These are primarily in China and South Korea, and, to a much lesser extent, in India and Vietnam. The strongest expansion signals occur in four regions: (1) southern China around the Zhujiang River Estuary from Hong Kong to Macau and particularly Shenzhen and Guangzhou; (2) eastern China around the lower Yangtze River from Shanghai to Nanjing and to Hangzhou and Ningbo; (3) northern China around Beijing and Tianjin; and (4) in South Korea around Seoul and Busan. We quantify the backscatter increase, and relate it to other metrics of metropolitan expansion, including maps of land-cover change derived from Landsat and socio-economic data.
Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center
Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union (AGU)
American Geophysical Union Publications
Frolking, S., Milliman, T., Schneider, A. and Friedl, M. (2011), Urban expansion in Asia, 1999-2009, as seen with the SeaWinds scatterometer, Abstract B43B-0296 presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.