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TitleVariations of annual minimum snow and ice extent over Canada and neighbouring landmass derived from MODIS 250-m imagery for 2000-2014
AuthorTrishchenko, A PORCID logo; Leblanc, S GORCID logo; Wang, SORCID logo; Li, J; Ungureanu, C; Luo, Y; Khlopenkov, K V; Fontana, F
SourceLong-term satellite data and applications/Données et applications satellitaires à long terme; by Trishchenko, A PORCID logo (ed.); Wang, SORCID logo (ed.); Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing vol. 42, issue 3, 2016 p. 214-242,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150381
PublisherInforma UK Limited
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceCanada; British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
AreaUnited States of America; Greenland; Iceland
Lat/Long WENS-170.0000 -13.0000 90.0000 38.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; Nature and Environment; remote sensing; satellite imagery; snow; ice; resources; surface waters; reflectance; Land cover; Data processing
Illustrationssketch maps; tables; satellite images; time series
ProgramRemote Sensing Science
Released2016 03 28
AbstractSnow and ice are important hydrological resources. Their minimum spatial extent over land, here referred to as annual minimum snow/ice (MSI) cover, plays a very important role as an indicator of long-term changes and baseline capacity for surface water storage. Data from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Terra satellite for the period of 2000-2014 were utilized in this study. The level-2MODIS swath imagery for bands B1 to B7 was employed and the 500-m bands B3-B7 were spatially downscaled to a 250-m swath grid. The imagery is available daily with multiple overpasses. This allows for more accurate identification of annual minimum in comparison to high-resolution imagery (e.g., Landsat, ASTER, etc.) available at much coarser temporal rates. Atmospherically corrected 10-day clear-sky composites converted into normalized surface reflectance over the warm season (April 1 to September 20) were employed to identify persistent snow and ice presence. Results were compared with our previous results derived from the MODIS Circumpolar Arctic clear-sky composites, generated for the end of melting season, and showed smaller MSI extent by 24%, on average. Produced MSI distributions were also compared with the permanent snow and ice maps available from 6 global land cover datasets: (i) Global Land Cover GLC-2000, (ii & iii) European Space Agency's (ESA) Globcover circa 2005 and 2009, (iv-vi) land cover maps derived under the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) for 2000, 2005, and 2010. Significant biases were discovered between various land cover datasets and our results. For example, GLC-2000 overestimated snow/ice extent by 194% (325,400 km2) for the Canadian Arctic. The biases over the entire landmass (excluding Greenland) are 135% (3.7 × 105 km2), 113% (3.0 × 105 km2), 89% (2.2 × 105 km2), and 28% (0.8 × 105 km2) between our results and GLC-2000, ESA Globcover 2005, ESA Globcover 2009, and ESA CCI datasets, correspondingly. The derived MSI extent was compared with Randolph Glacier Inventory (RGI) 4.0 and showed much better consistency (ranging from 1% to 15%).
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Snow and ice are important hydrological resources for countries with temperate, boreal and polar climate zones such as Canada. Their presence over land constitutes the topic of this study. Snow and ice correspond to a frozen state of water, which itself is an important natural resource for human activities and ecosystem functions. The minimum spatial extent over land, referred here as annual minimum snow/ice (MSI) cover, plays a very important role as indicator of long-term changes and baseline capacity for surface water storage. The MSI extent was derived from satellite data over 15-year period (2000-2014) over Canada and neighbouring landmass and was compared to 6 global land cover datasets and Randolph Glacier Inventory. Generally good agreement was found with RGI data, while some land cover datasets showed significant biases, especially in Canadian Arctic (up to 194%).

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