Mapping snow cover in the pan-Arctic zone, using multi-year (1998-2001) images from optical VEGETATION sensor
Timely information on spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of snow cover in the pan-Arctic zone is needed, as snow cover plays an important role in climate, hydrology and ecological processes. Here we report estimates of snow cover in the pan-Arctic zone (north of 45° N) at 1-km spatial resolution and at a 10-day temporal interval over the period of April 1998 to December 2001, using 10-day composite images of VEGETATION sensor onboard Système Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT)-4 satellite. The results show that snow covered area (SCA) in North America (north of 45° N) increased from 1998 to 2001, while SCA in Eurasia (north of 45° N) decreased from 1998 to 2000 but increased in 2001. There were large spatial and temporal variations of snow cover in the pan-Arctic zone during 1998-2001.
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