Title: A regional snow-line method for estimating snow cover from MODIS during cloud cover
Citation: JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGY vol. 381 no. 3-4 p. 203-212
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC52459
ISSN: 0022-1694
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC52459
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.11.042
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The objective of this study is to propose and evaluate a method for snow cover mapping during clouds using the daily MODIS/Terra snow cover product. The proposed SNOWL approach is based on reclassifying pixels assigned as clouds to snow or land according to their relative position to the regional snow line elevation. The accuracy of the SNOWL approach is evaluated over Austria, using daily snow depth measurements at 754 climate stations and daily MODIS/Terra images in the period July 2002 - December 2005. The results indicate that the SNOWL method provides a robust snow cover mapping over the entire region even if the MODIS/Terra cloud cover is as large as 90%. Cloudiness is decreased from 60% (MODIS/Terra) to 10% (SNOWL) without hardly any change in mapping accuracy. Sensitivity analyses indicate that the estimation of the regional snowline elevation is particularly sensitive to the misclassification of cirrus clouds as snow in the period between May and October.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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