Articles | Volume 16, issue 10
Research article
18 Oct 2022
Research article |  | 18 Oct 2022

A generalized photon-tracking approach to simulate spectral snow albedo and transmittance using X-ray microtomography and geometric optics

Theodore Letcher, Julie Parno, Zoe Courville, Lauren Farnsworth, and Jason Olivier

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Cited articles

Adolph, A. C., Albert, M. R., Lazarcik, J., Dibb, J. E., Amante, J. M., and Price, A.: Dominance of grain size impacts on seasonal snow albedo at open sites in New Hampshire, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 122, 121–139, 2017. a
Aoki, T., Aoki, T., Fukabori, M., Hachikubo, A., Tachibana, Y., and Nishio, F.: Effects of snow physical parameters on spectral albedo and bidirectional reflectance of snow surface, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 105, 10219–10236, 2000. a, b, c
Attene, M.: A lightweight approach to repairing digitized polygon meshes, The visual computer, 26, 1393–1406, 2010. a
Bair, E. H., Rittger, K., Skiles, S. M., and Dozier, J.: An examination of snow albedo estimates from MODIS and their impact on snow water equivalent reconstruction, Water Resour. Res., 55, 7826–7842, 2019. a
Bohren, C. F. and Beschta, R. L.: Snowpack albedo and snow density, Cold Reg. Sci. Technol., 1, 47–50, 1979. a
Short summary
We present a radiative transfer model that uses ray tracing to determine optical properties from computer-generated 3D renderings of snow resolved at the microscale and to simulate snow spectral reflection and transmission for visible and near-infrared light. We expand ray-tracing techniques applied to sub-1 cm3 snow samples to model an entire snowpack column. The model is able to reproduce known snow surface optical properties, and simulations compare well against field observations.