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We find that interferometric processing of repeat-pass L-HH- band shuttle imaging radar (SIR-C) data reveals centimeter- scale changes in the elevations of water surfaces within flooded vegetation, Because radar pulses reflect specularly from the water surface, interferometric observations of open water are incoherent. However, within flooded forests and inundated shrubs, the L-band radar pulse penetrates the vegetation canopy and follows a double-bounce travel path that includes the water and vegetation-trunk surfaces. In these environments, the returned radar energy and associated phase coherence are both stronger than the surrounding nonflooded terrain, permitting determination of the interferometric phase. Phase errors related to atmospheric water vapor are usually longer in wavelength and spatially distinct from phase signatures related to stage changes in tributaries and floodplain lakes. The interferometrically measured stage decreases match gauge data, providing further verification. Water level changes across 150 m to 2.75 km-wide water bodies containing inundated vegetation can be reliably measured. Our results suggest that if future interferometric L-HH-band SAR missions are implemented with short temporal baselines, it is possible to measure the hydrologic response of wetlands and inundated floodplains to changes in mainstem water level

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