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TitlePassive and Active Airborne Microwave Remote Sensing of Snow Cover
AuthorSokol, J; Pultz, T J; Walker, A E
SourceInternational Journal of Remote Sensing 2002.
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20043064
AbstractThe presence of snow cover affects the regional energy and water balance, thus having a significant impact on the global climate system. Temporal knowledge of the onset of snow melt and snow water equivalent values are important variables in the prediction of flooding and for water resource applications such as reservoir management and agricultural activities. Microwave remote sensing techniques have been effective for monitoring snow pack parameters (areal extent, depth, water equivalent, wet/dry state). Coincident ground data, airborne polarimetric C-band (5.3 GHz) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and passive microwave radiometer data (19, 37, and 85 GHz) were collected on four dates (December 1, 1997; March 6, 1998; March 12 1998; and March 9, 1999) over two flight lines in Eastern Ontario, Canada. The multi-temporal, multi-sensor data were analyzed for changes in the SAR polarimetric signatures and microwave brightness temperatures as a function of changing snow pack parameters. Results indicate that certain parameters such as, linear polarizations and pedestal height, are sensitive to changes in snow pack parameters, and respond differently to various snow conditions. Snow water equivalent (SWE) values derived from the passive microwave brightness temperatures compare well with ground measured SWE, with exception at the beginning of the snow season and in the presence of significant ice layers.

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