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A comparative study of Chang and HUT models for UK snow depth retrieval

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For the development of passive microwave remote sensing techniques, brightness temperature information on the medium covering the Earth's surface under different conditions is required. An emission model is a useful tool for the estimation of the brightness temperature of the medium. If the medium is a snow pack, the microwave radiation emitted will depend on the physical temperature, crystal characteristics, stratification and density of the snow. The parameters of microwave emission models available for the retrieval of snow characteristics are highly dependent on local environmental and climatological conditions. The aim of this study was to compare the empirical Chang model with the semiempirical radiative transfer model of snow developed at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) for snow depth (SD) retrieval for UK snow packs. In the first step we used the HUT model. The root mean square error (RMSE) was used to validate the accuracy of model estimates. The snow events from different days in 1995, 1996 and 1997 were used in this study. In the second step a revised form of the Chang model, which was originally calibrated for global snow monitoring, was applied to estimate the SD. It is evident from this study that the Chang model underestimates the SD whereas the HUT model both underestimates and overestimates the SD for UK snow cover. This study also demonstrates that the application of algorithms for snow pack monitoring requires local calibration for effective and reasonable results.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Climate Snow and Hydrology Research Group (CSHRG), Department of Meteorology, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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