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Comparison between in situ and MODIS-derived spectral reflectances of snow and sea ice in the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica

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The spectral albedo and directional reflectance of snow and sea ice were measured on sea ice of various types, including nilas, grey ice, pancake ice, multi-year pack ice, and land-fast ice in the Ross, Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas during a summer cruise in February through March 2000. Measurements were made using a spectroradiometer that has 512 channels in the visible and near-infrared (VNIR) region in which 16 of the 36 bands of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are covered. Directional reflectance is also retrieved from the MODIS radiometrically calibrated data (Level 1B) concurrently acquired from the first National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Earth Observing System (EOS) satellite, Terra. The locations of the ground ice stations are identified accurately on the MODIS images, and the spectral albedo and directional reflectance values at the 16 VNIR MODIS bands are extracted for those pixel locations. MODIS-derived reflectance is then corrected for the intervening atmosphere whose parameters are retrieved from the MODIS atmospheric profiles product (MOD07_L2) for the same granule. The corresponding spectral albedo and directional reflectance with the same viewing geometry as MODIS are derived from our ground-based spectroradiometer measurements. Because the footprint of the ground spectroradiometer is much smaller than the pixel sizes of MODIS images, the averaged spectral reflectance and albedo in the vicinity of each ice station are simulated for the corresponding MODIS pixel from the ground spectral measurements by weighting over different surface types (various ice types and open water). An accurate determination of ice concentration is important in deriving ground reflectance of a simulated pixel from in situ measurements. The best agreement between the in situ and MODIS measurements was found when the ground had 10/10 ice concentration (discrepancy range 0.2-11.6%, average 4.8%) or was one-ice-type dominant (discrepancy range 0.8-16.9%, average 6.2%). The more homogeneous the ground surface and the less variable the ground topography, the more comparable between the in situ and satellite-derived reflectance is expected.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Geophysical Institute University of Alaska Fairbanks PO Box 757320 Fairbanks AK 99775-7320 USA

Publication date: 2003-12-01

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