Skip to Main Content
In this letter, we investigated an inversion technique to estimate snow water equivalence (SWE) under Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) sensor configurations. Through our numerical simulations by the advanced integral equation model (AIEM), we found that the ground surface emission signals at 18.7 and 36.5 GHz were highly correlated regardless of the ground surface properties (dielectric and roughness properties) and can be well described by a linear function. It leads to a new development for describing the relationship between snow emission signals observed at 18.7 and 36.5 GHz as a linear function. The intercept (A) and slope (B) of this linear equation depend only on snow properties and can be estimated from the observations directly. This development provides a new technique that separates the snowpack and ground surface emission signals. With the parameterized snow emission model from a simulated database that was derived using a multiscattering microwave emission model (dense medium radiative transfer model-AIEM-matrix doubling) over dry snow covers, we developed an algorithm to estimate the SWE using the microwave radiometer measurements. Evaluations on this technique using both the model simulated data and the field experimental data with the airborne Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer data from National Aeronautics and Space Administration Cold Land Processes Experiment 2003 showed promising results, with root-mean-square errors of 32.8 and 31.85 mm, respectively. This newly developed inversion method has the advantages over the AMSR-E SWE baseline algorithm when applied to high-resolution airborne observations.