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Incorporating remotely‐sensed snow albedo into a spatially‐distributed snowmelt model


Basin-average albedo estimated from remotely-sensed Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectroradiometer (AVIRIS) data specific to the catchment typically differed by 20% from albedo estimated using a common snow-age-based empirical relation. In some parts of the basin, differences were as large as 0.31. Using the AVIRIS albedo estimates in a distributed snowmelt model that explicitly includes net solar radiation resulted in a much more accurate estimate of the timing and magnitude of snowmelt as compared to the same model with the empirical albedo (R2 of 0.73 versus 0.59 and magnitude error of 2% versus 36% . Model improvement was most significant in areas and at times where incident solar radiation was relatively high and temperatures low. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

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