Effects of snow physical parameters on spectral albedo and bidirectional reflectance of snow surface

Teruo Aoki, Tadao Aoki, Masashi Fukabori, Akihiro Hachikubo, Yoshihiro Tachibana, Fumihiko Nishio

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200 Citations (Scopus)


Observations of spectral albedo and bidirectional reflectance in the wavelength region of λ = 0.35-2.5 μm were made together with snow pit work on a flat snowfield in eastern Hokkaido, Japan. The effects of snow impurities, density, layer structure, and grain size attained by in situ and laboratory measurements were taken into account in snow models for which spectral albedos were calculated using a multiple-scattering model for the atmosphere-snow system. Comparisons of these theoretical albedos with measured ones suggest that the snow impurities were concentrated at the snow surface by dry fallout of atmospheric aerosols. The optically equivalent snow grain size was found to be of the order of a branch width of dendrites or of a dimension of narrower portion of broken crystals. This size was smaller than both the mean grain size and the effective grain size obtained from micrographs by image processing. The observational results for the bidirectional reflection distribution function (BRDF) normalized by the radiance at the nadir showed that the anisotropic reflection was very significant in the near-infrared region, especially for λ > 1.4 μm, while the visible normalized BRDF (NBRDF) patterns were relatively flat. Comparison of this result with two kinds of theoretical NBRDFs, where one having been calculated using single-scattering parameters by Mie theory and the other using the same parameters except for Henyey-Greenstein (HG) phase function obtained from the same asymmetry factor as in the Mie theory, showed that the observed NBRDF agreed with the theoretical one using the HG phase function rather than with that using the Mie phase function, while the albedos calculated with both phase functions agreed well with each other.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1999JD901122
Pages (from-to)10219-10236
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue numberD8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 27 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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