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Monitoring Snow Characteristics With Ground-Based Multifrequency Microwave Radiometry

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9 Author(s)
Brogioni, M. ; Inst. of Appl. Phys., IFAC-CNR, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy ; Macelloni, G. ; Palchetti, E. ; Paloscia, S.
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Long-term microwave and infrared radiometric measurements of snowpack were carried out with ground-based sensors in winter 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, together with conventional measurements of snow-cover profiles. The first experiment focused on the behavior of snow emission during the destructive and constructive metamorphisms. The second involved a correlation analysis of the small fluctuations related to diurnal solar cycle in order to obtain the time delay of microwave brightness temperatures Tb with respect to the snow surface temperature. From this analysis, it was possible to estimate an effective (weighed average) temperature and the thickness of the layer that mostly contributed to microwave emission at 19 and 37 GHz. The ratio of the brightness temperature to the effective temperature can be assumed to be an equivalent emissivity of the snowpack. Data collected in both years have been compared with simulations carried out using the advanced Institute of Applied Physics (IFAC) Radiative Advanced Dry Snow Emission (IRIDE) model driven by data collected on ground. The model is based on the advanced integral equation method to represent soil, coupled to a layer of dry snow whose electromagnetic properties are described by the dense medium radiative transfer theory with quasi-crystalline approximation applied to a medium (air) filled with sticky particles. Simulations performed by using ground data as inputs to the model have been found to be well in agreement with experimental data. Moreover, the comparison of model simulations with experimental data allowed one to understand some peculiar characteristics of microwave emission from the snowpack related to its physical conditions.

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:47 ,  Issue: 11 )