Tekeli, AE, Akyurek, Z, Sorman, AA, Sensoy, A, Sorman, AU (2005). Using MODIS snow cover maps in modeling snowmelt runoff process in the eastern part of Turkey. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 97(2), 216-230.
Water perhaps is the most valuable natural asset in the Middle East as it was a historical key for settlement and survival in Mesopotamia, the land between two rivers. At present, the Euphrates and Tigris are the two largest trans-boundary rivers in Western Asia where Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are the riparian countries. The Euphrates and Tigris basins are largely fed from snow precipitation whereby nearly two-thirds occur in winter and may remain in the form of snow for half of the year. The concentration of discharge mainly from snowmelt during spring and early summer months causes not only extensive flooding, inundating large areas, but also the loss of much needed water required for irrigation and power generation purposes during the summer season. Accordingly, modeling of snow-covered area in the mountainous regions of Eastern Turkey, as being one of the major headwaters of Euphrates-Tigris basin, has significant importance in order to forecast snowmelt discharge especially for energy production, flood control, irrigation and reservoir operation optimization. A pilot basin, located on the upper Euphrates River, is selected where five automated meteorological and snow stations are installed for real time operations. The daily snow cover maps obtained from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer MODIS at 500 m resolution are compared with ground information for the winter of 2002 - 2003 both during accumulation and ablation and at accumulation stage for the winter of 2003-2004. The snow presence on the ground is determined from the snow courses performed. Such measurements were made at 19 points in and around the upper Euphrates River in Turkey and at 20 points in the upper portion of the pilot basin for the winters of 20022003 and 2003-2004, respectively. Comparison of MODIS snow maps with in situ measurements over the snow season show good agreement with overall accuracies ranging between 62% and 82% considering the shift in the days of comparison. The main reasons to have disagreement between MODIS and in situ data are the high cloud cover frequency in the area and the current version of the MODIS cloud-mask that appears to frequently map edges of snow-covered areas and land surfaces. The effect of elevation and land cover types on validation of MODIS snow cover maps is also analyzed. In order to minimize the cloud cover and maximize the snow cover, MODIS-8 daily snow cover products are used in deriving the snow depletion curve, which is one of the input parameters of the snowmelt runoff model (SRM). The initial results of modeling process show that MODIS snow-covered area product can be used for simulation and also for forecasting of snowmelt runoff in basins of Turkey. (C) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.