Articles | Volume 17, issue 3
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Topographic and vegetation controls of the spatial distribution of snow depth in agro-forested environments by UAV lidar
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Québec at Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G8Z 4M3, Canada
Center for Northern Studies (CEN), Québec City, QC GV1 0A6, Canada
Research Centre for Watershed–Aquatic Ecosystem Interactions (RIVE), University of Québec at Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G8Z 4M3, Canada
CentrEau, the Québec Water Management Research Centre, Québec City, QC GV1 0A6, Canada
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Québec at Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G8Z 4M3, Canada
Center for Northern Studies (CEN), Québec City, QC GV1 0A6, Canada
Research Centre for Watershed–Aquatic Ecosystem Interactions (RIVE), University of Québec at Trois-Rivières, Trois-Rivières, QC G8Z 4M3, Canada
Department of Construction Engineering, École de technologie supérieure, Montréal, QC H3C 1K3, Canada
CentrEau, the Québec Water Management Research Centre, Québec City, QC GV1 0A6, Canada
No articles found.
Alex Mavrovic, Oliver Sonnentag, Juha Lemmetyinen, Jennifer Baltzer, Christophe Kinnard, and Alexandre Roy
This review argues towards the integration of microwave spaceborne information in carbon cycle science for Arctic-boreal regions. The microwave data record spans multiple decades with frequent global observations of soil moisture and temperature, surface freeze/thaw cycles, vegetation water storage, snowpack properties and land cover. This record holds substantial unexploited potential to better understand carbon cycle processes.
Eole Valence, Michel Baraer, Eric Rosa, Florent Barbecot, and Chloe Monty
The Cryosphere, 16, 3843–3860,Short summary
The internal properties of the snow cover shape the annual hygrogram of northern and alpine regions. This study develops a multi-method approach to measure the evolution of snowpack internal properties. The snowpack hydrological property evolution was evaluated with drone-based ground-penetrating radar (GPR) measurements. In addition, the combination of GPR observations and time domain reflectometry measurements is shown to be able to be adapted to monitor the snowpack moisture over winter.
Christophe Kinnard, Olivier Larouche, Michael N. Demuth, and Brian Menounos
The Cryosphere, 16, 3071–3099,Short summary
This study implements a physically based, distributed glacier mass balance model in a context of sparse direct observations. Carefully constraining model parameters with ancillary data allowed for accurately reconstructing the mass balance of Saskatchewan Glacier over a 37-year period. We show that the mass balance sensitivity to warming is dominated by increased melting and that changes in glacier albedo and air humidity are the leading causes of increased glacier melt under warming scenarios.
Emilio I. Mateo, Bryan G. Mark, Robert Å. Hellström, Michel Baraer, Jeffrey M. McKenzie, Thomas Condom, Alejo Cochachín Rapre, Gilber Gonzales, Joe Quijano Gómez, and Rolando Cesai Crúz Encarnación
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 2865–2882,Short summary
This article presents detailed and comprehensive hydrological and meteorological datasets collected over the past two decades throughout the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. With four weather stations and six streamflow gauges ranging from 3738 to 4750 m above sea level, this network displays a vertical breadth of data and enables detailed research of atmospheric and hydrological processes in a tropical high mountain region.
Anna Chesnokova, Michel Baraër, and Émilie Bouchard
The Cryosphere, 14, 4145–4164,Short summary
In the context of a ubiquitous increase in winter discharge in cold regions, our results show that icing formations can help overcome the lack of direct observations in these remote environments and provide new insights into winter runoff generation. The multi-technique approach used in this study provided important information about the water sources active during the winter season in the headwaters of glacierized catchments.
Marion Réveillet, Shelley MacDonell, Simon Gascoin, Christophe Kinnard, Stef Lhermitte, and Nicole Schaffer
The Cryosphere, 14, 147–163,
Leila Saberi, Rachel T. McLaughlin, G.-H. Crystal Ng, Jeff La Frenierre, Andrew D. Wickert, Michel Baraer, Wei Zhi, Li Li, and Bryan G. Mark
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 405–425,Short summary
The relationship among glacier melt, groundwater, and streamflow remains highly uncertain, especially in tropical glacierized watersheds in response to climate. We implemented a multi-method approach and found that melt contribution varies considerably and may drive streamflow variability at hourly to multi-year timescales, rather than buffer it, as commonly thought. Some of the melt contribution occurs through groundwater pathways, resulting in longer timescale interactions with streamflow.
Christian M. Zdanowicz, Bernadette C. Proemse, Ross Edwards, Wang Feiteng, Chad M. Hogan, Christophe Kinnard, and David Fisher
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 12345–12361,Short summary
Black carbon (BC) particles emitted by natural and anthropogenic sources (e.g., wildfires, coal burning) can amplify climate warming by increasing sunlight energy absorption on snow-covered surfaces. This paper presents a new ice-core record of historical (1810–1990) BC deposition in the Canadian Arctic. The Devon ice cap record differs from Greenland ice cores, implying large variations in BC deposition across the Arctic that must be accounted for to better quantity their future climate impact.
Sébastien Monnier and Christophe Kinnard
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 493–509,
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Jack Tarricone, Ryan W. Webb, Hans-Peter Marshall, Anne W. Nolin, and Franz J. Meyer
The Cryosphere, 17, 1997–2019,Short summary
Mountain snowmelt provides water for billions of people across the globe. Despite its importance, we cannot currently measure the amount of water in mountain snowpacks from satellites. In this research, we test the ability of an experimental snow remote sensing technique from an airplane in preparation for the same sensor being launched on a future NASA satellite. We found that the method worked better than expected for estimating important snowpack properties.
Sara E. Darychuk, Joseph M. Shea, Brian Menounos, Anna Chesnokova, Georg Jost, and Frank Weber
The Cryosphere, 17, 1457–1473,Short summary
We use synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) and optical observations to map snowmelt timing and duration on the watershed scale. We found that Sentinel-1 SAR time series can be used to approximate snowmelt onset over diverse terrain and land cover types, and we present a low-cost workflow for SAR processing over large, mountainous regions. Our approach provides spatially distributed observations of the snowpack necessary for model calibration and can be used to monitor snowmelt in ungauged basins.
Ruben Urraca and Nadine Gobron
The Cryosphere, 17, 1023–1052,Short summary
We evaluate the fitness of some of the longest satellite (NOAA CDR, 1966–2020) and reanalysis (ERA5, 1950–2020; ERA5-Land, 1950–2020) products currently available to monitor the Northern Hemisphere snow cover trends using 527 stations as the reference. We found different artificial trends and stepwise discontinuities in all the products that hinder the accurate monitoring of snow trends, at least without bias correction. The study also provides updates on the snow cover trends during 1950–2020.
Annett Bartsch, Helena Bergstedt, Georg Pointner, Xaver Muri, Kimmo Rautiainen, Leena Leppänen, Kyle Joly, Aleksandr Sokolov, Pavel Orekhov, Dorothee Ehrich, and Eeva Mariatta Soininen
The Cryosphere, 17, 889–915,Short summary
Rain-on-snow (ROS) events occur across many regions of the terrestrial Arctic in mid-winter. In extreme cases ice layers form which affect wildlife, vegetation and soils beyond the duration of the event. The fusion of multiple types of microwave satellite observations is suggested for the creation of a climate data record. Retrieval is most robust in the tundra biome, where records can be used to identify extremes and the results can be applied to impact studies at regional scale.
Pinja Venäläinen, Kari Luojus, Colleen Mortimer, Juha Lemmetyinen, Jouni Pulliainen, Matias Takala, Mikko Moisander, and Lina Zschenderlein
The Cryosphere, 17, 719–736,Short summary
Snow water equivalent (SWE) is a valuable characteristic of snow cover. In this research, we improve the radiometer-based GlobSnow SWE retrieval methodology by implementing spatially and temporally varying snow densities into the retrieval procedure. In addition to improving the accuracy of SWE retrieval, varying snow densities were found to improve the magnitude and seasonal evolution of the Northern Hemisphere snow mass estimate compared to the baseline product.
Dalei Hao, Gautam Bisht, Karl Rittger, Timbo Stillinger, Edward Bair, Yu Gu, and L. Ruby Leung
The Cryosphere, 17, 673–697,Short summary
We comprehensively evaluated the snow simulations in E3SM land model over the western United States in terms of spatial patterns, temporal correlations, interannual variabilities, elevation gradients, and change with forest cover of snow properties and snow phenology. Our study underscores the need for diagnosing model biases and improving the model representations of snow properties and snow phenology in mountainous areas for more credible simulation and future projection of mountain snowpack.
Timbo Stillinger, Karl Rittger, Mark S. Raleigh, Alex Michell, Robert E. Davis, and Edward H. Bair
The Cryosphere, 17, 567–590,Short summary
Understanding global snow cover is critical for comprehending climate change and its impacts on the lives of billions of people. Satellites are the best way to monitor global snow cover, yet snow varies at a finer spatial resolution than most satellite images. We assessed subpixel snow mapping methods across a spectrum of conditions using airborne lidar. Spectral-unmixing methods outperformed older operational methods and are ready to to advance snow cover mapping at the global scale.
Jilu Li, Fernando Rodriguez-Morales, Xavier Fettweis, Oluwanisola Ibikunle, Carl Leuschen, John Paden, Daniel Gomez-Garcia, and Emily Arnold
The Cryosphere, 17, 175–193,Short summary
Alaskan glaciers' loss of ice mass contributes significantly to ocean surface rise. It is important to know how deeply and how much snow accumulates on these glaciers to comprehend and analyze the glacial mass loss process. We reported the observed seasonal snow depth distribution from our radar data taken in Alaska in 2018 and 2021, developed a method to estimate the annual snow accumulation rate at Mt. Wrangell caldera, and identified transition zones from wet-snow zones to ablation zones.
Ghislain Picard, Henning Löwe, and Christian Mätzler
The Cryosphere, 16, 3861–3866,Short summary
Microwave satellite observations used to monitor the cryosphere require radiative transfer models for their interpretation. These models represent how microwaves are scattered by snow and ice. However no existing theory is suitable for all types of snow and ice found on Earth. We adapted a recently published generic scattering theory to snow and show how it may improve the representation of snows with intermediate densities (~500 kg/m3) and/or with coarse grains at high microwave frequencies.
Leung Tsang, Michael Durand, Chris Derksen, Ana P. Barros, Do-Hyuk Kang, Hans Lievens, Hans-Peter Marshall, Jiyue Zhu, Joel Johnson, Joshua King, Juha Lemmetyinen, Melody Sandells, Nick Rutter, Paul Siqueira, Anne Nolin, Batu Osmanoglu, Carrie Vuyovich, Edward Kim, Drew Taylor, Ioanna Merkouriadi, Ludovic Brucker, Mahdi Navari, Marie Dumont, Richard Kelly, Rhae Sung Kim, Tien-Hao Liao, Firoz Borah, and Xiaolan Xu
The Cryosphere, 16, 3531–3573,Short summary
Snow water equivalent (SWE) is of fundamental importance to water, energy, and geochemical cycles but is poorly observed globally. Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) measurements at X- and Ku-band can address this gap. This review serves to inform the broad snow research, monitoring, and application communities about the progress made in recent decades to move towards a new satellite mission capable of addressing the needs of the geoscience researchers and users.
Elisabeth D. Hafner, Patrick Barton, Rodrigo Caye Daudt, Jan Dirk Wegner, Konrad Schindler, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere, 16, 3517–3530,Short summary
Knowing where avalanches occur is very important information for several disciplines, for example avalanche warning, hazard zonation and risk management. Satellite imagery can provide such data systematically over large regions. In our work we propose a machine learning model to automate the time-consuming manual mapping. Additionally, we investigate expert agreement for manual avalanche mapping, showing that our network is equally as good as the experts in identifying avalanches.
Valentina Premier, Carlo Marin, Giacomo Bertoldi, Riccardo Barella, Claudia Notarnicola, and Lorenzo Bruzzone
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
The large amount of information regularly acquired by satellites can provide important information about SWE. We explore the use of multi-source data, in-situ observations and a degree-day melting model to reconstruct daily SWE at 25 m. The results show spatial patterns that are consistent with the geomorphological features as well as with a reference product. Being able to also reproduce inter-annual variability, the method has great potentiality for hydrological and ecological applications.
Joëlle Voglimacci-Stephanopoli, Anna Wendleder, Hugues Lantuit, Alexandre Langlois, Samuel Stettner, Andreas Schmitt, Jean-Pierre Dedieu, Achim Roth, and Alain Royer
The Cryosphere, 16, 2163–2181,Short summary
Changes in the state of the snowpack in the context of observed global warming must be considered to improve our understanding of the processes within the cryosphere. This study aims to characterize an arctic snowpack using the TerraSAR-X satellite. Using a high-spatial-resolution vegetation classification, we were able to quantify the variability in snow depth, as well as the topographic soil wetness index, which provided a better understanding of the electromagnetic wave–ground interaction.
Jayson Eppler, Bernhard Rabus, and Peter Morse
The Cryosphere, 16, 1497–1521,Short summary
We introduce a new method for mapping changes in the snow water equivalent (SWE) of dry snow based on differences between time-repeated synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. It correlates phase differences with variations in the topographic slope which allows the method to work without any "reference" targets within the imaged area and without having to numerically unwrap the spatial phase maps. This overcomes the key challenges faced in using SAR interferometry for SWE change mapping.
Sebastian Buchelt, Kirstine Skov, Kerstin Krøier Rasmussen, and Tobias Ullmann
The Cryosphere, 16, 625–646,Short summary
In this paper, we present a threshold and a derivative approach using Sentinel-1 synthetic aperture radar time series to capture the small-scale heterogeneity of snow cover (SC) and snowmelt. Thereby, we can identify start of runoff and end of SC as well as perennial snow and SC extent during melt with high spatiotemporal resolution. Hence, our approach could support monitoring of distribution patterns and hydrological cascading effects of SC from the catchment scale to pan-Arctic observations.
Hans Lievens, Isis Brangers, Hans-Peter Marshall, Tobias Jonas, Marc Olefs, and Gabriëlle De Lannoy
The Cryosphere, 16, 159–177,Short summary
Snow depth observations at high spatial resolution from the Sentinel-1 satellite mission are presented over the European Alps. The novel observations can improve our knowledge of seasonal snow mass in areas with complex topography, where satellite-based estimates are currently lacking, and benefit a number of applications including water resource management, flood forecasting, and numerical weather prediction.
Julien Meloche, Alexandre Langlois, Nick Rutter, Alain Royer, Josh King, Branden Walker, Philip Marsh, and Evan J. Wilcox
The Cryosphere, 16, 87–101,Short summary
To estimate snow water equivalent from space, model predictions of the satellite measurement (brightness temperature in our case) have to be used. These models allow us to estimate snow properties from the brightness temperature by inverting the model. To improve SWE estimate, we proposed incorporating the variability of snow in these model as it has not been taken into account yet. A new parameter (coefficient of variation) is proposed because it improved simulation of brightness temperature.
Christopher Donahue, S. McKenzie Skiles, and Kevin Hammonds
The Cryosphere, 16, 43–59,Short summary
The amount of water within a snowpack is important information for predicting snowmelt and wet-snow avalanches. From within a controlled laboratory, the optimal method for measuring liquid water content (LWC) at the snow surface or along a snow pit profile using near-infrared imagery was determined. As snow samples melted, multiple models to represent wet-snow reflectance were assessed against a more established LWC instrument. The best model represents snow as separate spheres of ice and water.
Zacharie Barrou Dumont, Simon Gascoin, Olivier Hagolle, Michaël Ablain, Rémi Jugier, Germain Salgues, Florence Marti, Aurore Dupuis, Marie Dumont, and Samuel Morin
The Cryosphere, 15, 4975–4980,Short summary
Since 2020, the Copernicus High Resolution Snow & Ice Monitoring Service has distributed snow cover maps at 20 m resolution over Europe in near-real time. These products are derived from the Sentinel-2 Earth observation mission, with a revisit time of 5 d or less (cloud-permitting). Here we show the good accuracy of the snow detection over a wide range of regions in Europe, except in dense forest regions where the snow cover is hidden by the trees.
Xiaodan Wu, Kathrin Naegeli, Valentina Premier, Carlo Marin, Dujuan Ma, Jingping Wang, and Stefan Wunderle
The Cryosphere, 15, 4261–4279,Short summary
We performed a comprehensive accuracy assessment of an Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer global area coverage snow-cover extent time series dataset for the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. The sensor-to-sensor consistency, the accuracy related to snow depth, elevations, land-cover types, slope, and aspects, and topographical variability were also explored. Our analysis shows an overall accuracy of 94 % in comparison with in situ station data, which is the same with MOD10A1 V006.
Pia Nielsen-Englyst, Jacob L. Høyer, Kristine S. Madsen, Rasmus T. Tonboe, Gorm Dybkjær, and Sotirios Skarpalezos
The Cryosphere, 15, 3035–3057,Short summary
The Arctic region is responding heavily to climate change, and yet, the air temperature of Arctic ice-covered areas is heavily under-sampled when it comes to in situ measurements. This paper presents a method for estimating daily mean 2 m air temperatures (T2m) in the Arctic from satellite observations of skin temperature, providing spatially detailed observations of the Arctic. The satellite-derived T2m product covers clear-sky snow and ice surfaces in the Arctic for the period 2000–2009.
Pinja Venäläinen, Kari Luojus, Juha Lemmetyinen, Jouni Pulliainen, Mikko Moisander, and Matias Takala
The Cryosphere, 15, 2969–2981,Short summary
Information about snow water equivalent (SWE) is needed in many applications, including climate model evaluation and forecasting fresh water availability. Space-borne radiometer observations combined with ground snow depth measurements can be used to make global estimates of SWE. In this study, we investigate the possibility of using sparse snow density measurement in satellite-based SWE retrieval and show that using the snow density information in post-processing improves SWE estimations.
Linlu Mei, Vladimir Rozanov, Christine Pohl, Marco Vountas, and John P. Burrows
The Cryosphere, 15, 2757–2780,Short summary
This paper presents a new snow property retrieval algorithm from satellite observations. This is Part 1 of two companion papers and shows the method description and sensitivity study. The paper investigates the major factors, including the assumptions of snow optical properties, snow particle distribution and atmospheric conditions (cloud and aerosol), impacting snow property retrievals from satellite observation.
Linlu Mei, Vladimir Rozanov, Evelyn Jäkel, Xiao Cheng, Marco Vountas, and John P. Burrows
The Cryosphere, 15, 2781–2802,Short summary
This paper presents a new snow property retrieval algorithm from satellite observations. This is Part 2 of two companion papers and shows the results and validation. The paper performs the new retrieval algorithm on the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) instrument and compares the retrieved snow properties with ground-based measurements, aircraft measurements and other satellite products.
Ahmad Hojatimalekshah, Zachary Uhlmann, Nancy F. Glenn, Christopher A. Hiemstra, Christopher J. Tennant, Jake D. Graham, Lucas Spaete, Arthur Gelvin, Hans-Peter Marshall, James P. McNamara, and Josh Enterkine
The Cryosphere, 15, 2187–2209,Short summary
We describe the relationships between snow depth, vegetation canopy, and local-scale processes during the snow accumulation period using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). In addition to topography and wind, our findings suggest the importance of fine-scale tree structure, species type, and distributions on snow depth. Snow depth increases from the canopy edge toward the open areas, but wind and topographic controls may affect this trend. TLS data are complementary to wide-area lidar surveys.
Jennifer M. Jacobs, Adam G. Hunsaker, Franklin B. Sullivan, Michael Palace, Elizabeth A. Burakowski, Christina Herrick, and Eunsang Cho
The Cryosphere, 15, 1485–1500,Short summary
This pilot study describes a proof of concept for using lidar on an unpiloted aerial vehicle to map shallow snowpack (< 20 cm) depth in open terrain and forests. The 1 m2 resolution snow depth map, generated by subtracting snow-off from snow-on lidar-derived digital terrain models, consistently had 0.5 to 1 cm precision in the field, with a considerable reduction in accuracy in the forest. Performance depends on the point cloud density and the ground surface variability and vegetation.
Elisabeth D. Hafner, Frank Techel, Silvan Leinss, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere, 15, 983–1004,Short summary
Satellites prove to be very valuable for documentation of large-scale avalanche periods. To test reliability and completeness, which has not been satisfactorily verified before, we attempt a full validation of avalanches mapped from two optical sensors and one radar sensor. Our results demonstrate the reliability of high-spatial-resolution optical data for avalanche mapping, the suitability of radar for mapping of larger avalanches and the unsuitability of medium-spatial-resolution optical data.
Xiongxin Xiao, Shunlin Liang, Tao He, Daiqiang Wu, Congyuan Pei, and Jianya Gong
The Cryosphere, 15, 835–861,Short summary
Daily time series and full space-covered sub-pixel snow cover area data are urgently needed for climate and reanalysis studies. Due to the fact that observations from optical satellite sensors are affected by clouds, this study attempts to capture dynamic characteristics of snow cover at a fine spatiotemporal resolution (daily; 6.25 km) accurately by using passive microwave data. We demonstrate the potential to use the passive microwave and the MODIS data to map the fractional snow cover area.
Marco Bongio, Ali Nadir Arslan, Cemal Melih Tanis, and Carlo De Michele
The Cryosphere, 15, 369–387,Short summary
The capability of time-lapse photography to retrieve snow depth time series was tested. We demonstrated that this method can be efficiently used in three different case studies: two in the Italian Alps and one in a forested region of Finland, with an accuracy comparable to the most common methods such as ultrasonic sensors or manual measurements. We hope that this simple method based only on a camera and a graduated stake can enable snow depth measurements in dangerous and inaccessible sites.
Lucie A. Eberhard, Pascal Sirguey, Aubrey Miller, Mauro Marty, Konrad Schindler, Andreas Stoffel, and Yves Bühler
The Cryosphere, 15, 69–94,Short summary
In spring 2018 in the alpine Dischma valley (Switzerland), we tested different industrial photogrammetric platforms for snow depth mapping. These platforms were high-resolution satellites, an airplane, unmanned aerial systems and a terrestrial system. Therefore, this study gives a general overview of the accuracy and precision of the different photogrammetric platforms available in space and on earth and their use for snow depth mapping.
Maxim Lamare, Marie Dumont, Ghislain Picard, Fanny Larue, François Tuzet, Clément Delcourt, and Laurent Arnaud
The Cryosphere, 14, 3995–4020,Short summary
Terrain features found in mountainous regions introduce large errors into the calculation of the physical properties of snow using optical satellite images. We present a new model performing rapid calculations of solar radiation over snow-covered rugged terrain that we tested over a site in the French Alps. The results of the study show that all the interactions between sunlight and the terrain should be accounted for over snow-covered surfaces to correctly estimate snow properties from space.
Tim Carlsen, Gerit Birnbaum, André Ehrlich, Veit Helm, Evelyn Jäkel, Michael Schäfer, and Manfred Wendisch
The Cryosphere, 14, 3959–3978,Short summary
The angular reflection of solar radiation by snow surfaces is particularly anisotropic and highly variable. We measured the angular reflection from an aircraft using a digital camera in Antarctica in 2013/14 and studied its variability: the anisotropy increases with a lower Sun but decreases for rougher surfaces and larger snow grains. The applied methodology allows for a direct comparison with satellite observations, which generally underestimated the anisotropy measured within this study.
César Deschamps-Berger, Simon Gascoin, Etienne Berthier, Jeffrey Deems, Ethan Gutmann, Amaury Dehecq, David Shean, and Marie Dumont
The Cryosphere, 14, 2925–2940,Short summary
We evaluate a recent method to map snow depth based on satellite photogrammetry. We compare it with accurate airborne laser-scanning measurements in the Sierra Nevada, USA. We find that satellite data capture the relationship between snow depth and elevation at the catchment scale and also small-scale features like snow drifts and avalanche deposits. We conclude that satellite photogrammetry stands out as a convenient method to estimate the spatial distribution of snow depth in high mountains.
Phillip Harder, John W. Pomeroy, and Warren D. Helgason
The Cryosphere, 14, 1919–1935,Short summary
Unmanned-aerial-vehicle-based (UAV) structure-from-motion (SfM) techniques have the ability to map snow depths in open areas. Here UAV lidar and SfM are compared to map sub-canopy snowpacks. Snow depth accuracy was assessed with data from sites in western Canada collected in 2019. It is demonstrated that UAV lidar can measure the sub-canopy snow depth at a high accuracy, while UAV-SfM cannot. UAV lidar promises to quantify snow–vegetation interactions at unprecedented accuracy and resolution.
Carlo Marin, Giacomo Bertoldi, Valentina Premier, Mattia Callegari, Christian Brida, Kerstin Hürkamp, Jochen Tschiersch, Marc Zebisch, and Claudia Notarnicola
The Cryosphere, 14, 935–956,Short summary
In this paper, we use for the first time the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) time series acquired by Sentinel-1 to monitor snowmelt dynamics in alpine regions. We found that the multitemporal SAR allows the identification of the three phases that characterize the melting process, i.e., moistening, ripening and runoff, in a spatial distributed way. We believe that the presented investigation could have relevant applications for monitoring and predicting the snowmelt progress over large regions.
Edward H. Bair, Karl Rittger, Jawairia A. Ahmad, and Doug Chabot
The Cryosphere, 14, 331–347,Short summary
Ice and snowmelt feed the Indus River and Amu Darya, but validation of estimates from satellite sensors has been a problem until recently, when we were given daily snow depth measurements from these basins. Using these measurements, estimates of snow on the ground were created and compared with models. Estimates of water equivalent in the snowpack were mostly in agreement. Stratigraphy was also modeled and showed 1 year with a relatively stable snowpack but another with multiple weak layers.
Nick Rutter, Melody J. Sandells, Chris Derksen, Joshua King, Peter Toose, Leanne Wake, Tom Watts, Richard Essery, Alexandre Roy, Alain Royer, Philip Marsh, Chris Larsen, and Matthew Sturm
The Cryosphere, 13, 3045–3059,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.
Alexandre R. Bevington, Hunter E. Gleason, Vanessa N. Foord, William C. Floyd, and Hardy P. Griesbauer
The Cryosphere, 13, 2693–2712,Short summary
We investigate the influence of ocean–atmosphere teleconnections on the start, end, and duration of snow cover in British Columbia, Canada. We do this using daily satellite imagery from 2002 to 2018 and assess the accuracy of our methods using reported snow cover at 60 weather stations. We found that there are very strong relationships that vary by region and elevation. This improves our understanding of snow cover distribution and could be used to predict snow cover from ocean–climate indices.
Anne Braakmann-Folgmann and Craig Donlon
The Cryosphere, 13, 2421–2438,Short summary
Snow on sea ice is a fundamental climate variable. We propose a novel approach to estimate snow depth on sea ice from satellite microwave radiometer measurements at several frequencies using neural networks (NNs). We evaluate our results with airborne snow depth measurements and compare them to three other established snow depth algorithms. We show that our NN results agree better with the airborne data than the other algorithms. This is also advantageous for sea ice thickness calculation.
Jie Deng, Tao Che, Cunde Xiao, Shijin Wang, Liyun Dai, and Akynbekkyzy Meerzhan
The Cryosphere, 13, 2149–2167,Short summary
The Chinese ski industry is rapidly booming driven by enormous market demand and government support with the coming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. We evaluate the locational suitability of ski areas in China by integrating the natural and socioeconomic conditions. Corresponding development strategies for decision-makers are proposed based on the multi-criteria metrics, which will be extended to incorporate potential influences from future climate change and socioeconomic development.
Isobel R. Lawrence, Michel C. Tsamados, Julienne C. Stroeve, Thomas W. K. Armitage, and Andy L. Ridout
The Cryosphere, 12, 3551–3564,Short summary
In this paper we estimate the thickness of snow cover on Arctic sea ice from space. We use data from two radar altimeter satellites, AltiKa and CryoSat-2, that have been operating synchronously since 2013. We produce maps of monthly average snow depth for the four growth seasons (October to April): 2012–2013, 2013–2014, 2014–2015, and 2015–2016. Snow depth estimates are essential for the accurate retrieval of sea ice thickness from satellite altimetry.
Richard Fernandes, Christian Prevost, Francis Canisius, Sylvain G. Leblanc, Matt Maloley, Sarah Oakes, Kiyomi Holman, and Anders Knudby
The Cryosphere, 12, 3535–3550,Short summary
The use of lightweight UAV-based surveys of surface elevation to map snow depth and weekly snow depth change was evaluated over five study areas spanning a range of topography and vegetation cover. Snow depth was estimated with an accuracy of better than 10 cm in the vertical and 3 cm in the horizontal. Vegetation in the snow-free elevation map was a major source of error. As a result, the snow depth change between two dates with snow cover was estimated with an accuracy of better than 4 cm.
Todd A. N. Redpath, Pascal Sirguey, and Nicolas J. Cullen
The Cryosphere, 12, 3477–3497,Short summary
A remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) is evaluated for mapping seasonal snow depth across an alpine basin. RPAS photogrammetry performs well at providing maps of snow depth at high spatial resolution, outperforming field measurements for resolving spatial variability. Uncertainty and error analysis reveal limitations and potential pitfalls of photogrammetric surface-change analysis. Ultimately, RPAS can be a useful tool for understanding snow processes and improving snow modelling efforts.
Alexander Kokhanovsky, Maxim Lamare, Biagio Di Mauro, Ghislain Picard, Laurent Arnaud, Marie Dumont, François Tuzet, Carsten Brockmann, and Jason E. Box
The Cryosphere, 12, 2371–2382,Short summary
This work presents a new technique with which to derive the snow microphysical and optical properties from snow spectral reflectance measurements. The technique is robust and easy to use, and it does not require the extraction of snow samples from a given snowpack. It can be used in processing satellite imagery over extended fresh dry, wet and polluted snowfields.
Stefan Härer, Matthias Bernhardt, Matthias Siebers, and Karsten Schulz
The Cryosphere, 12, 1629–1642,Short summary
The paper presents an approach which can be used to process satellite-based snow cover maps with a higher-than-today accuracy at the local scale. Many of the current satellite-based snow maps are using the NDSI with a threshold as a tool for deciding if there is snow on the ground or not. The presented study has shown that, firstly, using the standard threshold of 0.4 can result in significant derivations at the local scale and that, secondly, the deviations become smaller for coarser scales.
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This study highlights the successful usage of UAV lidar to monitor small-scale snow depth distribution. Our results show that underlying topography and wind redistribution of snow along forest edges govern the snow depth variability at agro-forested sites, while forest structure variability dominates snow depth variability in the coniferous environment. This emphasizes the importance of including and better representing these processes in physically based models for accurate snowpack estimates.
This study highlights the successful usage of UAV lidar to monitor small-scale snow depth...