The Cryosphere Discuss., 4, 2337-2372, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in TC.
Retrieval of snow albedo and grain size using reflectance measurements in Himalayan basin
H. S. Negi1,2 and A. Kokhanovsky2
1Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment, Him Parisar, Sector-37A, Chandigarh 160 036, India
2Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, O. Hahn Allee 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany

Abstract. In the present paper spectral reflectance measurements of Himalayan seasonal snow were carried out and analysed to retrieve the snow albedo and effective grain size. The asymptotic radiative transfer (ART) theory was applied to retrieve the plane and spherical albedo. The retrieved plane albedo was compared with the measured spectral albedo and a good agreement was observed with ±10% measured error accuracy. Retrieved integrated albedo was found within ±6% difference with ground observed broadband albedo. The snow grain sizes retrieved using different models based on ART theory are compared for different snow types and it was observed that presently grain size model using two channel method (one in visible and another in NIR region) can work well for Himalayan seasonal snow and it was found consistence with temporal increased grain size. This method can work very well for clean dry snow like in upper Himalaya but sometime due to low reflectances (<0.2) using wavelength 1.24 μm ART theory can not be applied, which is common in lower and middle Himalayan old snow. This study is of importance for monitoring the Himalayan cryosphere using air-borne or space-borne sensors.

Citation: Negi, H. S. and Kokhanovsky, A.: Retrieval of snow albedo and grain size using reflectance measurements in Himalayan basin, The Cryosphere Discuss., 4, 2337-2372, doi:10.5194/tcd-4-2337-2010, 2010.
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