Remote sensing of snow grain-size and impurities from Airborne Multispectral Scanner data using a snow bidirectional reflectance distribution function model

Tomonori Tanikawa, Teruo Aoki, Fumihiko Nishio

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Algorithms to retrieve the snow grain-size and the concentration of snow impurities were developed using a theoretical bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) model of the snow surface. In this model, snow grains are assumed to be independent spherical ice particles, and the BRDF is calculated with multiple scattering by snow particles. Using these algorithms, the snow grain-size and snow impurities were retrieved from Airborne Multispectral Scanner (AMSS) images at the visible (λ = 0.545 μm) and near-infrared (λ = 1.24, 1.64 and 2.23 μm) wavelengths observed over the flat snowfield in eastern Hokkaido, Japan, in February 1998. The estimated snow grain-size and impurities were consistent with the results of in situ measurements on the snow surface. For snow grain-size, measured reflectances in the different near-infrared AMSS channels indicated grain-size differences in the vertical profile of the snowpack.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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