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Open AccessArticle

A Merging Algorithm for Regional Snow Mapping over Eastern Canada from AVHRR and SSM/I Data

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Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre Eau Terre Environnement, Quebec, QC G1K 9A9, Canada
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Appliquée, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(11), 5463-5487; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs5115463
Received: 24 September 2013 / Revised: 18 October 2013 / Accepted: 18 October 2013 / Published: 24 October 2013
We present an algorithm for regional snow mapping that combines snow maps derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) data. This merging algorithm combines AVHRR’s moderate spatial resolution with SSM/I’s ability to penetrate clouds and, thus, benefits from the advantages of the two sensors while minimizing their limitations. First, each of the two detection algorithms were upgraded before developing the methodology to merge the snow mapping results obtained using both algorithms. The merging methodology is based on a membership function calculated over a temporal running window of ±4 days from the actual date. The studied algorithms were developed and tested over Eastern Canada for the period from 1988 to 1999. The snow mapping algorithm focused on the spring melt season (1 April to 31 May). The snow maps were validated using snow depth observations from meteorological stations. The overall accuracy of the merging algorithm is about 86%, which is between that of the new versions of the two individual algorithms: AVHRR (90%) and SSM/I (83%). Furthermore, the algorithm was able to locate the end date of the snowmelt season with reasonable accuracy (bias = 0 days; SD = 11 days). Comparison of mapping results with high spatial resolution snow cover from Landsat imagery demonstrates the feasibility of clear-sky snow mapping with relatively good accuracy despite some underestimation of snow extent inherited from the AVHRR algorithm. It was found that the detection limit of the algorithm is 80% snow cover within a 1 × 1 km pixel. View Full-Text
Keywords: snow cover; regional-scale snow mapping; multisensory snow product; optical and microwave satellite data; AVHRR; SSM/I; data fusion algorithm snow cover; regional-scale snow mapping; multisensory snow product; optical and microwave satellite data; AVHRR; SSM/I; data fusion algorithm
MDPI and ACS Style

Chokmani, K.; Bernier, M.; Royer, A. A Merging Algorithm for Regional Snow Mapping over Eastern Canada from AVHRR and SSM/I Data. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 5463-5487.

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