Snow density and ground permittivity retrieved from L-band radiometry: Melting effects

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Ground permittivity and snow density retrievals for the "snow-free period", "cold winter period", and "early spring period" are performed using the experimental L-band radiometry data from the winter 2016/2017 campaign at the Davos-Laret Remote Sensing Field Laboratory. The performance of the single-angle and multi-angle two-parameter retrieval algorithms employed during each of the aforementioned three periods is assessed using in-situ measured ground permittivity and snow density. Additionally, a synthetic sensitivity analysis is conducted that studies melting effects on the retrievals in the form of two types of "geophysical noise" (snow liquid water and footprint-dependent ground permittivity). Experimental and synthetic analyses show that both types of investigated "geophysical noise" noticeably disturb the retrievals and result in an increased correlation between them. The strength of this correlation is successfully used as a quality-indicator flag for the purpose of filtering out highly correlated ground permittivity and snow density retrievals. It is demonstrated that this filtering significantly improves the accuracy of both ground permittivity and snow density retrievals compared to corresponding reference in-situ data. Experimental and synthetic retrievals are performed in retrieval modes RM = "H", "V", and "HV", where brightness temperatures from polarizations p = H, p = V, or both p = H and V are used, respectively, in the retrieval procedure. Our analysis shows that retrievals for RM = "V" are predominantly least prone to the investigated "geophysical noise". The presented experimental results indicate that retrievals match in-situ observations best for the "snow-free period" and the "cold winter period" when "geophysical noise" is at minimum.




Schwank, M., & Naderpour, R. (2018). Snow density and ground permittivity retrieved from L-band radiometry: Melting effects. Remote Sensing, 10(2).

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