Zhang, HB; Zhang, F; Che, T; Wang, SJ (2020). Comparative evaluation of VIIRS daily snow cover product with MODIS for snow detection in China based on ground observations. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 724, 138156.

Accurate spatiotemporal information of snow cover not only is important for investigating the mechanisms of climate change but also greatly contributes to hydrological modelling in mountainous regions. The Suomi-National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) (referred to as VNP) daily snow cover product is recently released and expected to take place of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow cover products in near future. As an important addition to the widely used MODIS products, there is also an urgent need for a reliable accuracy evaluation and comparison of VNP for future large-scale daily snow cover mapping. This study for the first time evaluates the accuracy of VNP daily snow cover data in China using daily snow depth observations from 330 stations. The accuracy of VNP data is generally good with the averaged CK (Cohen's Kappa) and FS (F-Score) as high as 0.72 and 0.75, respectively, but considerably decreases to 0.50 and 0.52 for the Tibetan Plateau. VNP shows slightly better accuracy than MODIS TERRA for stations outside the Tibetan Plateau owing to its higher spatial resolution, but its accuracy is lower than TERRA for those within the Tibetan Plateau possibly due to its longer time interval between ground observation and satellite overpass time. By contrast, VNP shows much better accuracy than MODIS AQUA in China including both outside and within the Tibetan Plateau. This study provides important implications for optimal use of VNP and MODIS daily snow cover products in China, which may further contribute to more accurate snow variation information for climate analysis and cryospheric hydrological modelling.