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Snow Reflectance from LANDSAT-4 Thematic Mapper

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In California 75 percent of the agricultural water supply comes from the melting Sierra Nevada snowpack. Basin-wide spectral albedo measurements from the Landsat-4 Thematic Mapper (TM) could be used to better forecast the timing of the spring runoff, because these data can be combined with solar radiation calculations to estimate the net radiation balance. The TM is better-suited for this purpose than the Multispectral Scanner because of its larger dynamic range. Saturation still occurs in bands 1–4, but is severe only in TM1 (0.45-0.52 μm). Snow reflectance in TM2 (0.43-0.61 μm) is typical of the visible wavelength region, where reflectance is almost insensitive to crystal size but sensitive to contamination. TM4 (0.78-0.90 μm) allows estimation of effective optical grain size and thereby spectral extension throughout the near-infrared. TM5 (1.57-1.78 μm) can discriminate clouds from snow. © 1984 IEEE.

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