Yang, CJ; Zhao, ZJ; Ni, J; Ren, XL; Wang, Q (2012). Temporal and spatial analysis of changes in snow cover in western Sichuan based on MODIS images. SCIENCE CHINA-EARTH SCIENCES, 55(8), 1329-1335.
We developed a method for analyzing the change in snow cover using MODIS imagery. The method was applied to images of western Sichuan Province, China taken between 2002 and 2008. The model for extracting data on snow cover from MODIS images was created by spectral analysis. The multi-temporal snow layers were used to evaluate the temporal and spatial change in the area under snow cover between 2002 and 2008 using overlay and statistical analysis in ARCGIS. The majority (60.4%) of western Sichuan was rarely covered by snow and only 0.3% was covered by perennial snow in 2002. Snow cover was primarily distributed in Garz and Aba. The area under snow cover was significantly and negatively correlated with the average monthly temperature and rainfall in 2002. The largest area under snow cover was measured in 2006 and the smallest was in 2007. Similarly, the area of snowmelt was the highest in 2006 and lowest in 2007. In general, the elevation of the snow line increased throughout the period 2002-2008; however, the elevation decreased in some years. Our results provide an important insight into the distribution of snow in this region, and may be useful for climate modeling and predicting the availability of water resources and the occurrence of floods and droughts.