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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Improved Snow Cover Remote Sensing for Snowmelt Runoff Forecasting

Authors
item Gomez-Landesa, Enrique - USDA-ARS CONTRACTOR
item Rango, Albert

Submitted to: International Association of Hydrological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Techniques are needed to make use of the information content inside a remote sensing pixel, especially for snow mapping. Otherwise, NOAA-AVHRR operational satellite data can't be used on small basins. A linear combination technique of two NOAA-AVHRR channels is perfected in order to get the percent snow cover inside a NOAA pixel. This information is then used to obtain snow covered areas on small basins which can be used by hydropower companies for snowmelt runoff forecasting and management. Additionally, the techniques are useable by NASA for use with the new TERRA-MODIS data on a global basis.

Technical Abstract: A system based on satellite remote sensing has been developed for snow cover monitoring of a number of basins in the Spanish Pyrenees. The snow covered area is used as an input for snowmelt runoff forecasts on 42 basins using the Snowmelt Runoff Model (SRM). The forecasted snowmelt volume accumulated from May to September is sent to the hydropower companies for water resources management. A subpixel analysis is carried out to map the snow cover with Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data on board the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites. Two mapping methods are compared: a linear combination of a visible and a near infrared channel, and a snow classification based on the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).

Last Modified: 12/21/2014