Articles | Volume 16, issue 5
The Cryosphere, 16, 1765–1778, 2022
The Cryosphere, 16, 1765–1778, 2022
Research article
06 May 2022
Research article | 06 May 2022

Divergence of apparent and intrinsic snow albedo over a season at a sub-alpine site with implications for remote sensing

Edward H. Bair et al.

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Preprint under review for GMD
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Cited articles

Adams, J. B., Smith, M. O., and Johnson, P. E.: Spectral mixture modeling: A new analysis of rock and soil types at the Viking Lander 1 Site, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., 91, 8098–8112,, 1986. 
Bair, E. H.: The CRREL UCSB Energy Site, CUES data [code],, 2021. 
Bair, E. H., Davis, R. E., Finnegan, D. C., LeWinter, A. L., Guttmann, E., and Dozier, J.: Can we estimate precipitation rate during snowfall using a scanning terrestrial LiDAR?, Proc. 2012 Intl. Snow Sci. Workshop, Anchorage, AK, (last access: 24 August 2021), 2012. 
Bair, E. H., Dozier, J., Davis, R. E., Colee, M. T., and Claffey, K. J.: CUES – A study site for measuring snowpack energy balance in the Sierra Nevada, Front. Earth Sci., 3, 58,, 2015. 
Bair, E. H., Rittger, K., Davis, R. E., Painter, T. H., and Dozier, J.: Validating reconstruction of snow water equivalent in California's Sierra Nevada using measurements from the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory, Water Resour. Res., 52, 8437–8460,, 2016. 
Short summary
Understanding how snow and ice reflect solar radiation (albedo) is important for global climate. Using high-resolution topography, darkening from surface roughness (apparent albedo) is separated from darkening by the composition of the snow (intrinsic albedo). Intrinsic albedo is usually greater than apparent albedo, especially during melt. Such high-resolution topography is often not available; thus the use of a shade component when modeling mixtures is advised.