Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/tc-2016-267
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
01 Dec 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
Uncertainty budget in snow thickness and snow water equivalent estimation using GPR and TDR techniques
Federico Di Paolo1, Barbara Cosciotti1, Sebastian E. Lauro1, Elisabetta Mattei1, Mattia Callegari2, Luca Carturan3, Roberto Seppi4, Francesco Zucca4, and Elena Pettinelli1 1Department of Mathematics and Physics, Roma Tre University, Rome, 00146, Italy
2Institute for Applied Remote Sensing, EURAC, Bolzano, 39100, Italy
3Department of Land, Environment, Agriculture and Forestry (TeSAF), University of Padova, Legnaro (PD), 35020, Italy
4Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, 27100, Italy
Abstract. Snow water equivalent is a fundamental parameter for hydrological and climate change studies but its measurement is usually time consuming and destructive. Electromagnetic methods could be a valid alternative to conventional techniques, being fast and non-invasive. In this work we analyze the reliability of a combined GPR/TDR method to estimate snow thickness and snow water equivalent. To estimate GPR accuracy we perform a calibration test where measured and predicted radar data are compared in terms of two-way travel time. Furthermore we implement a complete analysis of the uncertainty budget in order to evaluate the "weight" of each uncertainty on the snow parameters computation chain. We found that GPR, supported by TDR data, is quite reliable as it measures snow thickness and snow water equivalent with an accuracy comparable to that of a traditional method but, in general, with a slightly larger uncertainty.

Citation: Di Paolo, F., Cosciotti, B., Lauro, S. E., Mattei, E., Callegari, M., Carturan, L., Seppi, R., Zucca, F., and Pettinelli, E.: Uncertainty budget in snow thickness and snow water equivalent estimation using GPR and TDR techniques, The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-267, in review, 2016.
Federico Di Paolo et al.
Federico Di Paolo et al.
Federico Di Paolo et al.

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Short summary
Snow water equivalent is an important parameter for hydrological and climate change studies, however its measurement is tedious and time consuming. In this paper we show that it is possible to accurately measure snow water equivalent using electromagnetic methods. During a field campaign we tested the performances of traditional methods vs. those of a Ground Penetrating Radar, founding a very good agreement between the snow water equivalent values computed with the two different methods.
Snow water equivalent is an important parameter for hydrological and climate change studies,...
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