Multi-Sensor Snow Covered Area Monitoring
colors) areas for the same location in the Sierra Nevada at approximately
the same point during the snowmelt season for three different years.
The similarity in spatial pattern of snow covered area despite differences
in timing is the basis for combining daily 500 m fractional snow covered
area from MODIS with sporadically acquired 30 m snow covered area from
Landsat to produce a daily 30 m snow covered area time series.
Presently, no single existing or planned instrument provides daily high spatial resolution imagery suitable for SCA mapping. Combining daily imagery from a moderate resolution sensor such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) with historical data from a higher spatial resolution sensor such as Landsat TM or Landsat ETM+, however, allows for the possibility of constructing a daily high spatial resolution SCA time series dataset.
The spatial and temporal distribution of SCA represents an important climate record useful for hydrologists, climatologists, ecologists, and other scientists and resource managers. A 30 m spatial resolution daily SCA dataset would allow for more accurate, higher spatial resolution reconstruction of maximum snow water equivalent (often considered the holy grail for hydrologists working in regions where snow cover is the primary source of runoff). Additionally, such a dataset would serve as a useful source of validation data for spatially distributed snow cover models. Finally, high spatial resolution maps of snow cover duration would provide a crucial input for ecological models mapping the present and future distribution of arctic and alpine plant communities.
Principal Investigator: David Selkowitz, firstname.lastname@example.org, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, AK