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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 5, issue 4
The Cryosphere, 5, 831–847, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-831-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
The Cryosphere, 5, 831–847, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-831-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 14 Oct 2011

Research article | 14 Oct 2011

Retrieval of snow grain size and albedo of western Himalayan snow cover using satellite data

H. S. Negi2,1 and A. Kokhanovsky2 H. S. Negi and A. Kokhanovsky
  • 1Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Him Parisar, Sector-37A, Chandigarh 160 036, India
  • 2Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, O. Hahn Allee 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany

Abstract. In the present study we describe the retrievals of snow grain size and spectral albedo (plane and spherical albedo) for western Himalayan snow cover using Hyperion sensor data. The asymptotic radiative transfer (ART) theory was explored for the snow retrievals. To make the methodology operational only five spectral bands (440, 500, 1050, 1240 and 1650 nm) of Hyperion were used for snow parameters retrieval. The bi-spectral method (440 nm in the visible and 1050/1240 nm in the NIR region) was used to retrieve snow grain size. Spectral albedos were retrieved using satellite reflectances and estimated grain size. A good agreement was observed between retrieved snow parameters and ground observed snow-meteorological conditions. The satellite retrieved grain sizes were compared with field spectroradiometer retrieved grain sizes and close results were found for lower Himalayan snow. The wavelength 1240 nm was found to be more suitable compared to 1050 nm for grain size retrieval along the steep slopes. The methodology was able to retrieve the spatial variations in snow parameters in different parts of western Himalaya which are due to snow climatic and terrain conditions of Himalaya. This methodology is of importance for operational snow cover and glacier monitoring in Himalayan region using space-borne and air-borne sensors.

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