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Modeling of snow emission at microwave frequencies is necessary in order to understand the complex relations between the emitted brightness temperature and snowpack characteristics such as density, grain size, moisture content, and vertical structure. Several empirical, semiempirical, and purely theoretical models for the prediction of snow emission properties have been developed in recent years. In this paper, we investigate the capability of one such model to simulate snow emission during the peak snow season-a new multilayer version of the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT) snow model. Developed with a single layer, the original HUT model was easily applied over large geographic areas for the estimation of snow cover characteristics by model inversion. A single homogenous layer, however, may not accurately allow the simulation of vertically structured natural snowpacks. The new modification to the model allows the simulation of emission from a snowpack with several snow or ice layers, with the individual component layers treated as in the original HUT model. The results of modeled snowpack emission, using both the original model and the new multilayer modification, are compared with reference measurements made using ground-based radiometers deployed in Finland and Canada. Detailed in situ measurements of the snowpack are used to set the model inputs. We show that, in most cases, use of the multiple-layer model improves estimates for the higher frequencies tested, with up to 38% improvement in rms error. In some cases, however, the use of the multiple-layer model weakens model performance particularly at lower frequencies.
Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:48 , Issue: 7 )
Date of Publication: July 2010