The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-3
30 Apr 2018
 | 30 Apr 2018


D. Qiao, Z. Li, N. Wang, J. Zhou, P. Zhang, and S. Gao

Keywords: Snow Depth Products, Snow Cover, Passive Microwave, Validation, Northern China

Abstract. Passive microwave sensors have the capability to provide information on snow depth (SD), which is critically important for hydrological modeling and water resource management. However, the different algorithms used to produce SD products lead to discrepancies in the data. To determine which products might be most suitable for Northern China, this paper assesses the accuracy of the existing snow depth products in the period of 2002–2011. By comparing three daily snow depth products, including NSIDC, WESTDC and ESA Globsnow, with snow cover product and meteorological stations data, the accuracies of the different SD products are analyzed for different snow class and forest cover fraction. The results show that comparison between snow cover derived from snow depth of NSIDC, ESA GlobSnow and WESTDC with snow cover product shows that accuracy of WESTDC and ESA GlobSnow in snow cover detecting can reach 0.70. Compared to meteorological stations data below 20 cm, NSIDC consistently overestimate, WESTDC and ESA Globsnow underestimate, furthermore the product from WESTDC is superior to the others. The three products have the same tendency of significant undervaluation over 20 cm. The WESTDC is superior to the ESA Globsnow and NSIDC in non-forest regions, whereas the ESA GlobSnow estimate is superior to the WESTDC and NSIDC in forest regions. As for the prairie and alpine snow, WESTDC has smaller bias and RMSE, meanwhile Globsnow has advantages in the snow depth retrieval in tundra and taiga snow. Therefore, we should choose the more suitable snow depth products according to different needs.