Li, BL, Zhu, AX, Zhou, CH, Zhang, YH, Pei, T, Qin, CZ (2008). Automatic mapping of snow cover depletion curves using optical remote sensing data under conditions of frequent cloud cover and temporary snow. HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES, 22(16), 2930-2942.
Snow cover depletion curves are required for several water management applications of snow hydrology and are often difficult to obtain automatically using optical remote sensing data owing to both frequent cloud cover and temporary snow cover. This study develops a methodology to produce accurate snow cover depletion curves automatically using high temporal resolution optical remote sensing data (e.g. Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Aqua MODIS or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)) by snow cover change trajectory analysis. The method consists of four major steps. The first is to reclassify both cloud-obscured land and snow into more distinct subclasses and to determine their snow cover status (seasonal snow cover or not) based on the snow cover change trajectories over the whole snowmelt season. The second step is to derive rules based on the analysis of snow cover change trajectories. These rules are subsequently used to determine for a given date, the snow cover status of a pixel based on snow cover maps from the beginning of the snowmelt season to that given date. The third step is to apply a decision-tree-like processing flow based on these rules to determine the snow cover status of a pixel for a given date and to create daily seasonal snow cover maps. The final step is to produce snow cover depletion curves using these maps. A case study using this method based on Terra MODIS snow cover map products (MOD10A1) was conducted in the lower and middle reaches of the Kaidu River Watershed (19000 km(2)) in the Chinese Tien Shan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. High resolution remote sensing data (charge coupled device (CCD) camera data with 19.5 m resolution of the China and Brazil Environmental and Resources Satellite (CBERS) data (19.5 m resolution), and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) data with 15 m resolution of the Terra) were used to validate the results. The study shows that the seasonal snow cover classification was consistent with that determined using a high spatial resolution dataset, with an accuracy of 87-91%. The snow cover depletion curves clearly reflected the impact of the variation of temperature and the appearance of temporary snow cover on seasonal snow cover. The findings from this case study suggest that the approach is successful in generating accurate snow cover depletion curves automatically under conditions of frequent cloud cover and temporary snow cover using high temporal resolution optical remote sensing data. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.