Articles | Volume 13, issue 11
The Cryosphere, 13, 3045–3059, 2019
The Cryosphere, 13, 3045–3059, 2019

Research article 19 Nov 2019

Research article | 19 Nov 2019

Effect of snow microstructure variability on Ku-band radar snow water equivalent retrievals

Nick Rutter et al.

Data sets

Snow pits and trenches N. Rutter

Lidar snow depths C. Larsen

Air temperatures Environment Canada

Catchment topography and locations of snow pits / trenches P. Toose

Model code and software

Code and data to generate outputs from the Snow Microwave Radiative Transfer model M. Sandells and N. Rutter

Short summary
Impact of natural variability in Arctic tundra snow microstructural characteristics on the capacity to estimate snow water equivalent (SWE) from Ku-band radar was assessed. Median values of metrics quantifying snow microstructure adequately characterise differences between snowpack layers. Optimal estimates of SWE required microstructural values slightly less than the measured median but tolerated natural variability for accurate estimation of SWE in shallow snowpacks.