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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Oct 2020

07 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

The retreival of snow properties from SLSTR/Sentinel-3 – part 2: results and validation

Linlu Mei1, Vladimir Rozanov1, Evelyn Jäkel2, Xiao Cheng3, Marco Vountas1, and John P. Burrows1 Linlu Mei et al.
  • 1Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Germany
  • 2Leipziger Institut für Meteorologie, University of Leipzig, Germany
  • 3School of Geospatial Engineering and Science, Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, P.R. China, 519082

Abstract. To evaluate the performance of eXtensible Bremen Aerosol/cloud and surfacE parameters Retrieval (XBAER) algorithm, presented in part 1 of the companion paper, this manuscript applies the XBAER algorithm on the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR) and Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) instruments onboard Sentinel-3. Snow properties: Snow Grain Size (SGS), Snow Particle Shape (SPS), and Specific Surface Area (SSA) are derived under cloud-free conditions. XBAER derived snow properties are compared to other existing satellite products and validated by ground-based/aircraft measurements. Cloud screening is performed by standard XBAER algorithm synergistically using OLCI and SLSTR instruments both onboard Sentinel-3. The atmospheric correction is performed on SLSTR for cloud-free scenarios using Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) and aerosol typing strategy according to the standard XBAER algorithm. The optimal SGS and SPS are estimated iteratively utilizing a Look-Up-Table (LUT) approach, minimizing the difference between SLSTR-observed and SCIATRAN simulated surface directional reflectances at 0.55 and 1.6 μm. The SSA is derived for a given SGS and SPS pair. XBAER derived SGS, SPS and SSA have been validated using in-situ measurements from the recent campaign SnowEx17 during February 2017. The comparison of the retrieved SGS with the in-situ data shows a relative difference between XBAER-derived SGS and SnowEx17 measured SGS of less than 4 %. The difference between XBAER-derived SSA and SnowEx17 measured SSA is 2.7 m2/kg. XBAER-derived SPS can be reasonable-explained by the SnowEx17 observed snow particle shapes. The comparison with aircraft measurements, during the Polar Airborne Measurements and Arctic Regional Climate Model Simulation Project (PAMARCMiP) campaign held in March 2018, also shows good agreement (with R = 0.82 and R = 0.81 for SGS and SSA, respectively). XBAER-derived SGS and SSA reveal the variability of the aircraft track of PAMARCMiP campaign. The comparison between XBAER-derived SGS results and MODIS Snow-Covered Area and Grain size (MODSCAG) product over Greenland shows similar spatial distributions. The geographic distribution of XBAER-derived SPS over Greenland and the whole Arctic can be reasonable-explained by campaign-based and laboratory investigations, indicating reasonable retrieval accuracy of the retrieved SPS. The geographic variabilities of XBAER-derived SGS and SSA over both Greenland and Arctic-wide agree with the snow metamorphism process.

Linlu Mei et al.

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Linlu Mei et al.

Linlu Mei et al.


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Latest update: 25 Oct 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This paper presents a new snow property retrieval algorithm from satellite observations. This is part 2 of the paper, which shows the results and validation. The paper performs the new retrieval algorithm on the SLSTR instrument and compared the retrieved snow properties with ground-based measurements, aircraft measures, and other satellite products.
This paper presents a new snow property retrieval algorithm from satellite observations. This is...