Tong, JJ, Dery, SJ, Jackson, PL, Derksen, C (2010). "Snow distribution from SSM/I and its relationships to the hydroclimatology of the Mackenzie River Basin, Canada". ADVANCES IN WATER RESOURCES, 33(6), 667-677.
The spatial and temporal distribution of snow cover extent (SCE) and snow water equivalent (SWE) play vital roles in the hydrology of northern watersheds. We apply remotely sensed Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) data from 1988 to 2007 to explore the relationships between snow distribution and the hydroclimatology of the Mackenzie River Basin (MRB) of Canada and its major sub-basins. The Environment Canada (EC) algorithm is adopted to retrieve the SWE from SSM/I data. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) 8-day maximum snow cover extent products (MOD10A2) are used to estimate the different thresholds of retrieved SWE from SSM/I to classify the land cover as snow or no snow for various sub-basins in the MRB. The sub-basins have varying topography and hence different thresholds that range from 10 mm to 30 mm SWE. The accuracy of snow cover mapping based on the combination of several thresholds for the different sub-basins reaches approximate to 90%. The northern basins are found to have stronger linear relationships between the date on which snow cover fraction (SCF) reaches 50% or when SWE reaches 50% and mean air temperatures, than the southern basins. Correlation coefficients between SCF. SWE, and hydroclimatological variables show the new SCF products from SSM/I perform better than SWE from SSM/I to analyze the relationships with the regional hydroclimatology. Statistical models relating SCF and SWE to runoff indicate that the SCF and SWE from EC algorithms are able to predict the discharge in the early snow ablation seasons in northern watersheds. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.