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Modelling snow microstructure could provide to more accurate interpretation of the satellite observations

Modelling snow microstructure could provide to more accurate interpretation of the satellite observations

Coupling the snow microstructure models with the snow emission models could provide more accurate snow water equivalent inversions from the satellite observations.

Based on the results, some model combinations produced more accurate observations with some frequencies and polarizations.

Snow water equivalent (SWE) is observed globally by the satellite microwave instruments. SWE is calculated from the microwave observations with the snow emission models. The study included combination of the three microstructure models with the three emission models, which simulation results were compared to the observations made in Sodankylä, Finland in 2011-2013. The model combinations produced error between -53 and 45 percent when compared to the observations. Some combinations provided better simulation results for some frequencies and polarizations, but none of them was suitable in the all cases. Based on the results, definition of snow microstructure and related modelling needs development to produce more accurate SWE observations.

More information:

Research Scientist Leena Leppänen, tel. 040 6707 133, leena.leppanen@fmi.fi

Sandells, M., Essery, R., Rutter, N., Wake, L., Leppänen, L., and Lemmetyinen, J.: Microstructure representation of snow in coupled snowpack and microwave emission models, The Cryosphere, 11, 229-246, doi:10.5194/tc-11-229-2017, 2017.




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