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Snow-covered surfaces have a very high surface albedo, thereby allowing little energy to be absorbed by the snowpack. As the snowpack ages and/or begins to melt, the snow albedo decreases and more solar energy is absorbed by the snowpack. Therefore, accurate estimation of snow albedo is essential for monitoring the state of the cryosphere. This paper examines the retrieval of snow albedo using data from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument over the Greenland ice sheet. Two different methods are developed and examined to derive the snow albedo: one based on the spectral information from MISR and one utilizing the angular information from the MISR instrument. The latter method is based on a statistical relationship between in situ albedo measurements and the MISR red channel reflectance at all MISR viewing angles and is found to give good agreement with the ground-based measurements. Good agreement is also found using the spectral information, although the method is more sensitive to instrument calibration, snow bidirectional reflectance distribution function models, and narrowband-to-broadband relationships. In general, using either method retrieves snow surface albedo values that are within about 6% of that measured at the stations in Greenland.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:40 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: Jul 2002