Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Estimating Fractional Snow Cover in Open Terrain from Sentinel-2 Using the Normalized Difference Snow Index

Version 1 : Received: 16 July 2020 / Approved: 17 July 2020 / Online: 17 July 2020 (14:05:06 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Gascoin, S.; Barrou Dumont, Z.; Deschamps-Berger, C.; Marti, F.; Salgues, G.; López-Moreno, J.I.; Revuelto, J.; Michon, T.; Schattan, P.; Hagolle, O. Estimating Fractional Snow Cover in Open Terrain from Sentinel-2 Using the Normalized Difference Snow Index. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2904. Gascoin, S.; Barrou Dumont, Z.; Deschamps-Berger, C.; Marti, F.; Salgues, G.; López-Moreno, J.I.; Revuelto, J.; Michon, T.; Schattan, P.; Hagolle, O. Estimating Fractional Snow Cover in Open Terrain from Sentinel-2 Using the Normalized Difference Snow Index. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2904.

Journal reference: Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 2904
DOI: 10.3390/rs12182904

Abstract

Sentinel-2 provides the opportunity to map the snow cover at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution at global scale. Here we calibrate and evaluate a simple empirical function to estimate the fractional snow cover (FSC) in open terrain using the normalized difference snow index (NDSI) from 20 m resolution Sentinel-2 images. The NDSI is computed from flat surface reflectances after masking cloud and snow-free areas. The NDSI-FSC function is calibrated using Pléiades very high resolution images and evaluated using independent datasets including SPOT 6/7 satellite images, time lapse camera photographs, terrestrial lidar scans and crowd-sourced in situ measurements. The calibration results show that the FSC can be represented with a sigmoid-shaped function 0.5×tanh(a×NDSI+b)+0.5 where a = 2.65 and b = -1.42 yielding a root mean square error of 25%. Similar RMSE are obtained with different evaluation datasets with a high topographic variability. With this function, we estimate that the confidence interval on the FSC retrievals is 38% at the 95% confidence level.

Subject Areas

snow; snow cover area; fractional snow cover; Sentine-2

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