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Evaluation of the Snow Albedo Retrieved from the Snow Kernel Improved the Ross-Roujean BRDF Model

State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Jointly Sponsored by Beijing Normal University and Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100875, China
Beijing Engineering Research Center for Global Land Remote Sensing Products, Institute of Remote Sensing Science and Engineering, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) (former Finnish Geodetic Institute), Geodeetinrinne 2, 02330 Masala, Finland
Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(13), 1611;
Received: 22 May 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 6 July 2019
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The original kernel-driven bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) models were developed based on soil-vegetation systems. To further improve the ability of the models to characterize the snow surface scattering properties, a snow kernel was derived from the asymptotic radiative transfer (ART) model and used in the kernel-driven BRDF model framework. However, there is a need to further evaluate the influence of using this snow kernel to improve the original kernel-driven models in snow albedo retrieval applications. The aim of this study is to perform such an evaluation using a variety of snow BRDF data. The RossThick-Roujean (RTR) model is used as a framework for taking in the new snow kernel (hereafter named the RTS model) since the Roujean geometric-optical (GO) kernel captures a neglectable hotspot effect and represents a more prominent dome-shaped BRDF, especially at a small solar zenith angle (SZA). We obtained the following results: (1) The RTR model has difficulties in reconstructing the snow BRDF shape, especially at large SZAs, which tends to underestimate the reflectance in the forward direction and overestimate reflectance in the backward direction for various data sources. In comparison, the RTS model performs very well in fitting snow BRDF data and shows high accuracy for all data. (2) The RTR model retrieved snow albedos at SZAs = 30°–70° are underestimated by 0.71% and 0.69% in the red and near-infrared (NIR) bands, respectively, compared with the simulation results of the bicontinuous photon tracking (bic-PT) model, which serve as “real” values. However, the albedo retrieved by the RTS model is significantly improved and generally agrees well with the simulation results of the bic-PT model, although the improved model still somewhat underestimates the albedo by 0.01% in the red band and overestimates the albedo by 0.05% in the NIR band, respectively, at SZAs = 30°–70°, which may be negligible. (3) The albedo derived by these two models shows a high correlation (R2 > 0.9) between the field-measured and Polarization and Directionality of the Earth’s Reflectances (POLDER) data, especially for the black-sky albedo. However, the albedo derived using the RTR model is significantly underestimated compared with the RTS model. The RTR model underestimates the black-sky albedo (white-sky albedo) retrievals by 0.62% (1.51%) and 0.93% (2.08%) in the red and NIR bands, respectively, for the field-measured data. The shortwave black-sky and white-sky albedos derived using the RTR model for the POLDER data are underestimated by 1.43% and 1.54%, respectively, compared with the RTS model. These results indicate that the snow kernel in the kernel-driven BRDF model frame is more accurate in snow albedo retrievals and has the potential for application in the field of the regional and global energy budget. View Full-Text
Keywords: kernel-driven model; bic-PT model; snow kernel; POLDER; BRDF; snow albedo; angular sampling; model evaluation kernel-driven model; bic-PT model; snow kernel; POLDER; BRDF; snow albedo; angular sampling; model evaluation

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Ding, A.; Jiao, Z.; Dong, Y.; Zhang, X.; Peltoniemi, J.I.; Mei, L.; Guo, J.; Yin, S.; Cui, L.; Chang, Y.; Xie, R. Evaluation of the Snow Albedo Retrieved from the Snow Kernel Improved the Ross-Roujean BRDF Model. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1611.

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