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Article

A Compilation of Snow Cover Datasets for Svalbard: A Multi-Sensor, Multi-Model Study

1
NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS, P.O. Box 6434, NO-9294 Tromsø, Norway
2
Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, 75105 Uppsala, Sweden
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Norwegian Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 43, NO-0313 Oslo, Norway
4
Hydrology Department, Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, P.O. Box 5091, NO-0301 Oslo, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gareth Rees
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(10), 2002; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13102002
Received: 7 April 2021 / Revised: 30 April 2021 / Accepted: 11 May 2021 / Published: 20 May 2021
Reliable and accurate mapping of snow cover are essential in applications such as water resource management, hazard forecasting, calibration and validation of hydrological models and climate impact assessments. Optical remote sensing has been utilized as a tool for snow cover monitoring over the last several decades. However, consistent long-term monitoring of snow cover can be challenging due to differences in spatial resolution and retrieval algorithms of the different generations of satellite-based sensors. Snow models represent a complementary tool to remote sensing for snow cover monitoring, being able to fill in temporal and spatial data gaps where a lack of observations exist. This study utilized three optical remote sensing datasets and two snow models with overlapping periods of data coverage to investigate the similarities and discrepancies in snow cover estimates over Nordenskiöld Land in central Svalbard. High-resolution Sentinel-2 observations were utilized to calibrate a 20-year MODIS snow cover dataset that was subsequently used to correct snow cover fraction estimates made by the lower resolution AVHRR instrument and snow model datasets. A consistent overestimation of snow cover fraction by the lower resolution datasets was found, as well as estimates of the first snow-free day (FSFD) that were, on average, 10–15 days later when compared with the baseline MODIS estimates. Correction of the AVHRR time series produced a significantly slower decadal change in the land-averaged FSFD, indicating that caution should be exercised when interpreting climate-related trends from earlier lower resolution observations. Substantial differences in the dynamic characteristics of snow cover in early autumn were also present between the remote sensing and snow model datasets, which need to be investigated separately. This work demonstrates that the consistency of earlier low spatial resolution snow cover datasets can be improved by using current-day higher resolution datasets. View Full-Text
Keywords: polar regions; snow cover; remote sensing; snow modelling; MODIS; Sentinel-2 polar regions; snow cover; remote sensing; snow modelling; MODIS; Sentinel-2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vickers, H.; Malnes, E.; van Pelt, W.J.J.; Pohjola, V.A.; Killie, M.A.; Saloranta, T.; Karlsen, S.R. A Compilation of Snow Cover Datasets for Svalbard: A Multi-Sensor, Multi-Model Study. Remote Sens. 2021, 13, 2002. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13102002

AMA Style

Vickers H, Malnes E, van Pelt WJJ, Pohjola VA, Killie MA, Saloranta T, Karlsen SR. A Compilation of Snow Cover Datasets for Svalbard: A Multi-Sensor, Multi-Model Study. Remote Sensing. 2021; 13(10):2002. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13102002

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vickers, Hannah, Eirik Malnes, Ward J.J. van Pelt, Veijo A. Pohjola, Mari A. Killie, Tuomo Saloranta, and Stein R. Karlsen 2021. "A Compilation of Snow Cover Datasets for Svalbard: A Multi-Sensor, Multi-Model Study" Remote Sensing 13, no. 10: 2002. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13102002

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