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Sensors (Basel). 2019 Aug 15;19(16). pii: E3569. doi: 10.3390/s19163569.

Snow Albedo Seasonality and Trend from MODIS Sensor and Ground Data at Johnsons Glacier, Livingston Island, Maritime Antarctica.

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Remote Sensing Applications (RSApps) Research Group, Department of Physics, University of Oviedo, 33007 Oviedo, Spain.
Remote Sensing Applications (RSApps) Research Group, Department of Mining Exploitation and Prospecting, University of Oviedo, 33600 Mieres, Spain.
Mathematical Modelling (MOMA) Research Group, Department of Geology, University of Oviedo, 33005 Oviedo, Spain.
Department of Geology, Geography and Environment, University of Alcalá, 28805 Alcalá de Henares, Spain.


The aim of this work is to investigate whether snow albedo seasonality and trend under all sky conditions at Johnsons Glacier (Livingston Island, Antarctica) can be tracked using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow albedo daily product MOD10A1. The time span is from December 2006 to February 2015. As the MOD10A1 snow albedo product has never been used in Antarctica before, we also assess the performance for the MOD10A1 cloud mask. The motivation for this work is the need for a description of snow albedo under all sky conditions (including overcast days) using satellite data with mid-spatial resolution. In-situ albedo was filtered with a 5-day windowed moving average, while the MOD10A1 data were filtered using a maximum filter. Both in-situ and MOD10A1 data follow an exponential decay during the melting season, with a maximum decay of 0.049/0.094 day-1 (in-situ/MOD10A1) for the 2006-2007 season and a minimum of 0.016/0.016 day-1 for the 2009-2010 season. The duration of the decay varies from 85 days (2007-2008) to 167 days (2013-2014). Regarding the albedo trend, both data sets exhibit a slight increase of albedo, which may be explained by an increase of snowfall along with a decrease of snowmelt in the study area. Annual albedo increases of 0.2% and 0.7% are obtained for in-situ and MOD10A1 data, respectively, which amount to respective increases of 2% and 6% in the period 2006-2015. We conclude that MOD10A1 can be used to characterize snow albedo seasonality and trend on Livingston Island when filtered with a maximum filter.


Antarctica; MODIS snow albedo; albedo; albedo seasonality; albedo trend; in-situ albedo

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