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Remote sensing of snow grain-size and impurities from Airborne Multispectral Scanner data using a snow bidirectional reflectance distribution function model

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Algorithms to retrieve the snow grain-size and the concentration of snow impurities were developed using a theoretical bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) model of the snow surface. In this model, snow grains are assumed to be independent spherical ice particles, and the BRDF is calculated with multiple scattering by snow particles. Using these algorithms, the snow grain-size and snow impurities were retrieved from Airborne Multispectral Scanner (AMSS) images at the visible ( = 0.545 µm) and near-infrared ( = 1.24, 1.64 and 2.23 µm) wavelengths observed over the flat snowfield in eastern Hokkaido, Japan, in February 1998. The estimated snow grain-size and impurities were consistent with the results of in situ measurements on the snow surface. For snow grain-size, measured reflectances in the different near-infrared AMSS channels indicated grain-size differences in the vertical profile of the snowpack.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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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.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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