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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open Access

Hemispheric-scale comparison of monthly passive microwave snow water equivalent products
Author(s): Jiuliang Liu; Zhen Li; Lei Huang; Bangsen Tian

Paper Abstract

The snow water equivalent (SWE) products from passive microwave remote sensing are useful in global climate change studies due to the long-time and all-weather imaging capabilities of passive microwave radiometry at the hemisphere scale. Northern Hemisphere SWE products, including products from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and GlobSnow from the European Space Agency (ESA), have been providing long-time series information since 1979. However, the different algorithms used to produce the NSIDC and GlobSnow products lead to discrepancies in the data. To determine which product might be superior, this paper assesses their hemisphere-scale quality for the time period 1979−2010. By comparing the data with historical snow depth measurements obtained from 7388 meteorological stations in the Northern Hemisphere, the accuracies of the different SWE products are analyzed for the period and for different snow types. The results show that for SWEs above 30 mm but below 200 mm, GlobSnow estimates maintain a better linear relation with the ground measurements. NSIDC products are more influenced by microwave “saturation,” producing obvious underestimations for SWEs over 120 mm. However, for shallow snow (SWE less than 30 mm), the slight overestimate produced by GlobSnow is more obvious than that of the other NSIDC products.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 2014
PDF: 16 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 8(1) 084688 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.8.084688
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 8, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Jiuliang Liu, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (China)
Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Zhen Li, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (China)
Lei Huang, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (China)
Bangsen Tian, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (China)


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