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Title: Use of Landsat digital data for snow cover mapping in the Upper Saint John River Basin, Maine
Authors: Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Sigma Data Computing Corp.
Merry, C. J.
Miller, Michael S.
Keywords: Hydrologic modeling
Snow cover
Remote sensing
Snow water equivalent
Saint John River, Maine
Upper Saint John River Basin
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: CRREL report ; 87-8.
Description: CRREL Report
Abstract: Measurements of snow depth and its water equivalent were obtained at 11 snow courses in the Allagash, Maine, area in conjunction with the acquisition of five Landsat-2 and -3 images during the 1977-78 and 1978-79 winters. To test a hypothesis that Landsat reflected radiance values on a regional scale do change, histograms of the Landsat MSS band 7 reflected radiance values for a 300- x 300-pixel (420-km^2) area near Allagash were evaluated to quantify the change. A statistical description (skewness and kurtosis) of the histogram for each scene was developed and then correlated with ground measurements of snow depth. A snow index based on skewness and modal population was found to correlate well with snow depth. Following these initial results, the Landsat data were re-examined and corrections were made for solar elevation and MSS sensor calibration. The reflected radiance from open areas showed a consistent increase in intensity with increasing snow depth. The forested land cover classes did not change with snow depth. Digital imagery data acquired on 31 May 1978 when the land was snow-free was used to classify land cover categories. Ground truth measurements of water equivalent of the snow cover were area-weighted using the land cover classification to derive regional values on each of the five Landsat winter scenes. The 1 March 1978 snow measurement of 19.46 cm of water equivalent was used as an input value to the SSARR model. The SSARR prediction for the 1 March - 31 May 1978 time period was within 78% of the measured runoff for the initial base flow period and within 66% measured for the spring melt recession period. However, the timing of six observed runoff peaks was off by 2 to 9 days. The magnitude of five of the predicted runoff peaks was within 75% of the recorded streamflow. Additional work on calibrating the basin peak timing and melt rate factors is required.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:CRREL Report

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