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Proceedings Paper

Airborne Snow Water Equivalent And Soil Moisture Measurement Using Natural Terrestrial Gamma Radiation
Author(s): Thomas R. Carroll; John C. Schaake, Jr.
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Paper Abstract

Airborne measurements of the natural terrestrial gamma radiation flux near the soil surface are used to infer mean areal snow water equivalent and soil moisture values. Terrestrial gamma radiation data are sensed from a lowflying aircraft over a network of 400 flight lines (each approximately 6 km2) in the upper Midwest. The airborne data are used to make real-time airborne snow water equivalent and soil moisture measurements in the region to support the National Weather Service hydrologic forecasting program. Ground-based snow cover data collected along 20 calibration flight lines indicate that airborne snow water equivalent values can be calculated with an RMS error of 0.88 cm. Ground-based soil moisture data collected along 155 calibration flight lines indicate that airborne soil moisture values for the upper 20 cm can be calculated with an RMS error of 3.9 percent soil moisture. Approximately 80 percent of the error is due to airborne instrumentation sensitivity while only 20 percent of the error results from flight line calibration using groundbased soil moisture data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 September 1983
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0414, Optical Engineering for Cold Environments, (22 September 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.935888
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas R. Carroll, National Weather Service (United States)
John C. Schaake, Jr., National Weather Service (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0414:
Optical Engineering for Cold Environments
George W. Aitken, Editor(s)

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