Satellite discrimination of snow/cloud surfaces

Robert George Crane, M. R. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Differentiation between cloud cover and snow surfaces using remotely sensed data is complicated by the similarity of their radiative temperatures, and also by their similar reflectanccs at visible wavelengths. A method of cloud analysis over snow-covered regions is presented, using 1.51 – 1.63 μm data from an experimental sensor on board a U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program platform. At these wavelengths, snow appears relatively ‘black’ while clouds are highly reflective. The spatial structure of the 1.51-1.63 μm reflectivity fields over a continuous snow surface are examined. Plots of mean reflectance against coefficients of variation for 4×4 pixel areas reveals a cluster of points have low reflectivity and low variability, corresponding to snow-covered (cloud free) areas, and a similar cluster with high reflectances corresponding to 100 per cent cloud cover. For the case of a single layered cloud, the radiances associated with partially filled fields of view are also inferred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

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snow
cloud cover
reflectivity
reflectance
wavelength
field of view
radiance
pixel
sensor
temperature

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Differentiation between cloud cover and snow surfaces using remotely sensed data is complicated by the similarity of their radiative temperatures, and also by their similar reflectanccs at visible wavelengths. A method of cloud analysis over snow-covered regions is presented, using 1.51 – 1.63 μm data from an experimental sensor on board a U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program platform. At these wavelengths, snow appears relatively ‘black’ while clouds are highly reflective. The spatial structure of the 1.51-1.63 μm reflectivity fields over a continuous snow surface are examined. Plots of mean reflectance against coefficients of variation for 4×4 pixel areas reveals a cluster of points have low reflectivity and low variability, corresponding to snow-covered (cloud free) areas, and a similar cluster with high reflectances corresponding to 100 per cent cloud cover. For the case of a single layered cloud, the radiances associated with partially filled fields of view are also inferred.",
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Satellite discrimination of snow/cloud surfaces. / Crane, Robert George; Anderson, M. R.

In: International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 5, No. 1, 01.01.1984, p. 213-223.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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