Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
Research article
04 Jul 2016
Research article |  | 04 Jul 2016

Mapping snow depth in open alpine terrain from stereo satellite imagery

R. Marti, S. Gascoin, E. Berthier, M. de Pinel, T. Houet, and D. Laffly

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Cited articles

Antoine, J., Galop, D., and Chenorkian, R.: Premiers résultats d'une rétro-observation hydroclimatique exploratoire dans le Haut-Vicdessos (Pyrénées ariégeoises), Sud-Ouest européen. Revue géographique des Pyrénées et du Sud-Ouest, 89–100, 2012.
ASTRIUM: Pléiades Imagery User Guide, 2, 2012.
Barnett, T. P., Adam, J. C., and Lettenmaier, D. P.: Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions, Nature, 438, 303–309,, 2005.
Berthier, E., Arnaud, Y., Kumar, R., Ahmad, S., Wagnon, P., and Chevallier, P.: Remote sensing estimates of glacier mass balances in the Himachal Pradesh (Western Himalaya, India), Remote Sens. Environ., 108, 327–338,, 2007.
Berthier, E., Vincent, C., Magnusson, E., Gunnlaugsson, A., Pitte, P., Le Meur, E., Masiokas, M., Ruiz, L., Pálsson, F., Belart, J. M. C., and Wagnon, P.: Glacier topography and elevation changes from Pléiades very high resolution stereo images, The Cryosphere, 8, 4849–4883,, 2014.
Short summary
To date, there is no definitive approach to map snow depth in mountainous areas from spaceborne sensors. We used very-high-resolution stereo satellites imagery (Pléiades) to generate a map of snow depth in a small Pyrenean catchment. The validation results are promising and open the possibility to retrieve the snow depth at a metric horizontal resolution in remote mountainous areas, even when no field data are available.