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Usage of high-resolution Landsat 7 band 8 for single-band snow-cover classification

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With the launch of Landsat 7 a new band was added to the Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+).The new panchromatic band 8 covers wavelengths of 0.52-0.92 µm and extends over band 2 (0.525-0.605 µm), band 3 (0.630-0.690 µm) and band 4 (0.750-0.900 µm).Its high resolution, with a pixel length of 15 m, is of interest for high-spatial-resolution analysis. This project focused on using Landsat 7 band 8 as a precise tool to obtain remotely the size and shape of permanent snowpatches in the mountainous area west of Abisko, Sweden. In the supervised classification employed, shadowed and non-shadowed areas were classified separately. Supervision of the classification was based on ground-truthing consisting of photographic mapping of the snow cover in the study area. The results from this single-band classification were compared to the results from the normalized-difference snow index (NDSI) and false-color images using bands 2,4 and 5.This comparison showed similar estimates of the total amount of snow-covered area, with the additional advantage that the Landsat 7 band 8 (LB8) classification detects details in the extent of individual snowfields.This new application and the insights documented here support the use of Landsat 7 band 8 for snow-cover investigations in the future.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

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