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New shortwave infrared albedo measurements for snow specific surface area retrieval

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Snow grain-size characterization, its vertical and temporal evolution is a key parameter for the improvement and validation of snow and radiative transfer models (optical and microwave) as well as for remote-sensing retrieval methods. We describe two optical methods, one active and one passive shortwave infrared, for field determination of the specific surface area (SSA) of snow grains. We present a new shortwave infrared (SWIR) camera approach. This new method is compared with a SWIR laser-based system measuring snow albedo with an integrating sphere (InfraRed Integrating Sphere (IRIS)). Good accuracy (10%) and reproducibility in SSA measurements are obtained using the IRIS system on snow samples having densities greater than 200 kg m–3, validated against X-ray microtomography measurements. The SWIRcam approach shows improved sensitivity to snow SSA when compared to a near-infrared camera, giving a better contrast of the snow stratigraphy in a snow pit.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-09-01

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  • The Journal of Glaciology is published six times per year. It accepts submissions from any discipline related to the study of snow and ice. All articles are peer reviewed. The Journal is included in the ISI Science Citation Index.
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