UC Santa Barbara
Measuring the expressed abundance of the three phases of water with an imaging spectrometer over melting snow
- Author(s): Green, Robert O
- Painter, Thomas H
- Roberts, Dar A
- Dozier, Jeff
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1029/2005WR004509
From imaging spectrometer data, we simultaneously estimate the abundance of the three phases of water in an environment that includes melting snow, basing the analysis on the spectral shift in the absorption coefficient between water vapor, liquid water, and ice at 940, 980, and 1030 nm respectively. We apply a spectral fitting algorithm that measures the expressed abundance of the three phases of water to a data set acquired by the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) over Mount Rainier, Washington, on 14 June 1996. Precipitable water vapor varies from 1 mm over the summit of Mount Rainier to 10 mm over the lower valleys to the northwest. Equivalent path absorption of liquid water varies from O to 13 mm, with the zero values over rocky areas and high-elevation snow and the high values associated with liquid water held in vegetation canopies and in melting snow. Ice abundance varies from 0 to 30 mm equivalent path absorption in the snow- and glacier-covered portions Of Mount Rainier. The water and ice abundances are related to the amount of liquid water and the sizes of the ice grains in the near-surface layer. Precision of the estimates, calculated over locally homogeneous areas, indicates an uncertainty of better than 1.5% for all three phases, except for liquid water in vegetation, where an optimally homogeneous site was not found. The analysis supports new strategies for hydrological research and applications as imaging spectrometers become more available. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.
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