Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open AccessJapan Aerospace Exploration Agency GCOM-W1 satellite snow depth product: outcome of the first winter
Snow observations from space play an important role in hydrological and climatological studies. They are especially important in remote areas with low (or none) population and sparse conventional observations at the ground. At the mid latitudes, they are needed especially for assimilation of spatially distributed data concerning snow water equivalent or snow depth derived from microwave satellite data to snowmelt models. This paper presents discussion on several problems with satellite derived snow observations focusing on the JAXA GCOM-W1 snow depth product. This product was analyzed for the period of October 1, 2012, to April 30, 2013, for an area of Poland and verified against ground observations. Benefits and disadvantages of these products were discussed in comparison to other satellite microwave products concerning snow properties. Problems with proper validation against “ground truth” were also highlighted. The possible alternative use of AMSR2 microwave data was also presented.