Riggs, G; Hall, D (2020). Continuity of MODIS and VIIRS Snow Cover Extent Data Products for Development of an Earth Science Data Record. REMOTE SENSING, 12(22), 3781.

An Earth Observing System global snow cover extent data products record at moderate spatial resolution (375-500 m) began in February 2000 with the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard the Terra satellite. The record continued with the Aqua MODIS in July 2002, the Suomi-National Polar Platform (S-NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) in January 2012 and continues with the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) VIIRS, launched in November of 2017. The objective of this work is to develop a snow cover extent Earth Science Data Record (ESDR) using different satellites, sensors and algorithms. There are many issues to understand when data from different algorithms and sensors are used over a decade-scale time period to create a continuous dataset. Issues may also arise with sensor degradation and even differences in sensor band locations. In this paper we describe development of an ESDR derived from existing MODIS and VIIRS data products and demonstrate continuity among the products. The MODIS and VIIRS snow cover detection algorithms produce very similar daily snow cover maps, with 90-97% agreement in snow cover extent (SCE) in different landscapes. Differences in SCE between products ranged from 2-15% and are attributable to convolved factors of viewing geometry, pixel spread across a scan and time of observation. Compared at a common grid size of 1 km, there is a mean of 95% agreement in SCE and a difference range of 1-10% between the MODIS and VIIRS SCE maps. Mapping sensor observations to a coarser resolution grid reduces the effect of the factors convolved in the 500 m tile to tile comparisons. We conclude that the MODIS and VIIRS SCE data products are reliable constituents of a moderate-resolution ESDR.