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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Spatiotemporal variability in snow cover from 1987 to 2011 in northern China
Author(s): Liyun Dai; Tao Che
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Paper Abstract

The spatial and temporal distributions of snow cover were analyzed using daily snow depths derived from special sensor microwave imager and advanced microwave scanning radiometer-Earth observing system data between 1987 and 2011 in northern China. To monitor the annual and interannual snow cover variability, snow cover days (SCD), monthly mean snow depth (MMSD), and cumulative snowfall (CS) were derived, and their variation slopes and relative standard deviations were calculated. The results showed that the snow cover reached its maximum values of depth and area in January and February. The MMSD, SCD, and CS interannual variation presented spatial heterogeneity. The average snow depth exhibited insignificant changes in most areas. For the annual SCD change trend, an insignificant decrease, significant decrease, insignificant increase, and significant increase in coverage characterized approximately 37.6%, 19.3%, 41.0%, and 1.1% of the total area, respectively. For the annual CS variation trend, an insignificant decrease, significant decrease, insignificant increase, and significant increase characterized approximately 30.2%, 2.4%, 57.1%, and 9.2% of the area, respectively. According to the snow depth variation in different climate zones, the snow depth decreased in the early and late periods in the snow season in all climate regions, but the fluctuations and change trends in these climate zones were different. The decreasing trend was more obvious in plateau climate zone than in other zones. The fluctuation amplitude was greatest in the temperate monsoon climate zone.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2014
PDF: 16 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 8(1) 084693 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.8.084693
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 8, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Liyun Dai, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (China)
Tao Che, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (China)


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