The utility of shuttle imaging radar (SIR-A) data was evaluated in several geological and environmental contexts. For the Ozark Plateau of southern Missouri, SIR-A data were of little use in mapping structural features, because of generally uniform returns. For western Illinois, little was to be gained in terms of identifying land use categories by examining differences between overlapping passes. For southern Australia (Koonamore Station), information ion vegetation types that was not obtainable from LANDSAT MSS data alone was obtained. Specifically, high SIR-A returns in the Australian site were found to correlate with locations where shrubs increase surface roughness appreciably. The Australian study site results demonstrate the synergy of acquiring spectral reflectance and radar data over the same location and time. Such data are especially important in that region, since grazing animals have substantially altered and are continuing to alter the distribution of shrublands, grasslands, and soil exposures. Periodic, synoptic acquisition of MSS and SAR data would be of use in monitoring the dynamics of land-cover change in this environment.
EARTH RESOURCES AND REMOTE SENSING