A First Overview of SnowEx Ground-Based Remote Sensing Activities During the Winter 2016–2017

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Conference Proceeding

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NASA SnowEx's goal is estimating how much water is stored in Earth's terrestrial snow-covered regions. To that end, two fundamental questions drive the mission objectives: (a) What is the distribution of snow-water equivalent (SWE), and the snow energy balance, among different canopy and topographic situations?; and (b) What is the sensitivity and accuracy of different SWE sensing techniques among these different areas? In situ, ground-based and airborne remote sensing observations were collected during winter 2016-2017 in Colorado to provide the scientific community with data needed to work on these key questions. An intensive period of observations occurred in February 2017 during which over 30 remote sensing instruments were used. Their observations were coordinated with in situ measurements from snowpits (e.g. profiles of stratigraphy, density, grain size and type, specific surface area, temperature) and along transects (mainly for snow depth measurements). Both remote sensing and in situ data will be archived and publicly distributed by the National Snow and Ice Data Center at nsidc.org/data/snowex.


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