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Article

Temporal Variability of Surface Reflectance Supersedes Spatial Resolution in Defining Greenland’s Bare-Ice Albedo

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Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth SY23 3DB, UK
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Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark
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Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, UiT—The Arctic University of Norway, 9019 Tromso, Norway
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Department of Geography, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
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School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
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Lincoln Climate Research Group, School of Geography, University of Lincoln, Lincoln LN6 7DW, UK
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Department of Arctic Geology, University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), N-9171 Longyearbyen, Norway
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Department of Environmental Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 6856 Sogndal, Norway
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Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
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Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), ETH Zurich, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
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Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland
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School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
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Institute of Geography, Universität Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
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Remote Sensing Laboratories, Department of Geography, University of Zürich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
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Department of Geography, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
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School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ryan Wilson, Daniel Falaschi and Adina Racoviteanu
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14010062
Received: 22 October 2021 / Revised: 9 December 2021 / Accepted: 17 December 2021 / Published: 23 December 2021
Ice surface albedo is a primary modulator of melt and runoff, yet our understanding of how reflectance varies over time across the Greenland Ice Sheet remains poor. This is due to a disconnect between point or transect scale albedo sampling and the coarser spatial, spectral and/or temporal resolutions of available satellite products. Here, we present time-series of bare-ice surface reflectance data that span a range of length scales, from the 500 m for Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer’s MOD10A1 product, to 10 m for Sentinel-2 imagery, 0.1 m spot measurements from ground-based field spectrometry, and 2.5 cm from uncrewed aerial drone imagery. Our results reveal broad similarities in seasonal patterns in bare-ice reflectance, but further analysis identifies short-term dynamics in reflectance distribution that are unique to each dataset. Using these distributions, we demonstrate that areal mean reflectance is the primary control on local ablation rates, and that the spatial distribution of specific ice types and impurities is secondary. Given the rapid changes in mean reflectance observed in the datasets presented, we propose that albedo parameterizations can be improved by (i) quantitative assessment of the representativeness of time-averaged reflectance data products, and, (ii) using temporally-resolved functions to describe the variability in impurity distribution at daily time-scales. We conclude that the regional melt model performance may not be optimally improved by increased spatial resolution and the incorporation of sub-pixel heterogeneity, but instead, should focus on the temporal dynamics of bare-ice albedo. View Full-Text
Keywords: Greenland ice sheet; reflectance; albedo; MODIS; Sentinel-2; uncrewed aerial vehicle; spectrometry; multi-scale Greenland ice sheet; reflectance; albedo; MODIS; Sentinel-2; uncrewed aerial vehicle; spectrometry; multi-scale
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MDPI and ACS Style

Irvine-Fynn, T.D.L.; Bunting, P.; Cook, J.M.; Hubbard, A.; Barrand, N.E.; Hanna, E.; Hardy, A.J.; Hodson, A.J.; Holt, T.O.; Huss, M.; McQuaid, J.B.; Nilsson, J.; Naegeli, K.; Roberts, O.; Ryan, J.C.; Tedstone, A.J.; Tranter, M.; Williamson, C.J. Temporal Variability of Surface Reflectance Supersedes Spatial Resolution in Defining Greenland’s Bare-Ice Albedo. Remote Sens. 2022, 14, 62. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14010062

AMA Style

Irvine-Fynn TDL, Bunting P, Cook JM, Hubbard A, Barrand NE, Hanna E, Hardy AJ, Hodson AJ, Holt TO, Huss M, McQuaid JB, Nilsson J, Naegeli K, Roberts O, Ryan JC, Tedstone AJ, Tranter M, Williamson CJ. Temporal Variability of Surface Reflectance Supersedes Spatial Resolution in Defining Greenland’s Bare-Ice Albedo. Remote Sensing. 2022; 14(1):62. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14010062

Chicago/Turabian Style

Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D.L., Pete Bunting, Joseph M. Cook, Alun Hubbard, Nicholas E. Barrand, Edward Hanna, Andy J. Hardy, Andrew J. Hodson, Tom O. Holt, Matthias Huss, James B. McQuaid, Johan Nilsson, Kathrin Naegeli, Osian Roberts, Jonathan C. Ryan, Andrew J. Tedstone, Martyn Tranter, and Christopher J. Williamson. 2022. "Temporal Variability of Surface Reflectance Supersedes Spatial Resolution in Defining Greenland’s Bare-Ice Albedo" Remote Sensing 14, no. 1: 62. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14010062

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