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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(7), 8995-9019; doi:10.3390/rs70708995

Downscaling Snow Cover Fraction Data in Mountainous Regions Based on Simulated Inhomogeneous Snow Ablation

1
Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Gansu Province, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Heihe Remote Sensing Experimental Research Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
3
Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecology System, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730020, China
4
CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xin Li, Richard Gloaguen and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 2 May 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 16 July 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3527 KB, uploaded 16 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

High-resolution snow distributions are essential for studying cold regions. However, the temporal and spatial resolutions of current remote sensing snow maps remain limited. Remotely sensed snow cover fraction (SCF) data only provide quantitative descriptions of snow area proportions and do not provide information on subgrid-scale snow locations. We present a downscaling method based on simulated inhomogeneous snow ablation capacities that are driven by air temperature and solar radiation data. This method employs a single parameter to adjust potential snow ablation capacities. Using this method, SCF data with a resolution of 500 m are downscaled to a resolution of 30 m. Then, 18 remotely sensed TM, CHRIS and EO-1 snow maps are used to verify the downscaled results. The mean overall accuracy is 0.69, the average root-mean-square error (RMSE) of snow-covered slopes between the downscaled snow map and the real snow map is 3.9°, and the average RMSE of the sine of the snow covered aspects between the downscaled snow map and the real snow map is 0.34, which is equivalent to 19.9°. This method can be applied to high-resolution snow mapping in similar mountainous regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: downscaling method; snow cover fraction; inhomogeneous snow distribution; subgrid scale downscaling method; snow cover fraction; inhomogeneous snow distribution; subgrid scale
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, H.Y.; He, Y.Q.; Hao, X.H.; Che, T.; Wang, J.; Huang, X.D. Downscaling Snow Cover Fraction Data in Mountainous Regions Based on Simulated Inhomogeneous Snow Ablation. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 8995-9019.

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