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A model for the microwave emissions of multilayer dry snowpacks, based on dense media radiative transfer (DMRT) theory with the quasicrystalline approximation (QCA), provides more accurate results when compared to emissions determined by a homogeneous snowpack and other scattering models. The DMRT model accounts for adhesive aggregate effects, which leads to dense media Mie scattering by using a sticky particle model. With the multilayer model, we examined both the frequency and polarization dependence of brightness temperatures (Tb's) from representative snowpacks and compared them to results from a single-layer model and found that the multilayer model predicts higher polarization differences, twice as much, and weaker frequency dependence. We also studied the temporal evolution of Tb from multilayer snowpacks. The difference between Tb's at 18.7 and 36.5 GHz can be 5 K lower than the single-layer model prediction in this paper. By using the snowpack observations from the Cold Land Processes Field Experiment as input for both multi- and single-layer models, it shows that the multilayer Tb's are in better agreement with the data than the single-layer model. With one set of physical parameters, the multilayer QCA/DMRT model matched all four channels of Tb observations simultaneously, whereas the single-layer model could only reproduce vertically polarized Tb's. Also, the polarization difference and frequency dependence were accurately matched by the multilayer model using the same set of physical parameters. Hence, algorithms for the retrieval of snowpack depth or water equivalent should be based on multilayer scattering models to achieve greater accuracy.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:46 , Issue: 11 )
Date of Publication: Nov. 2008