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Contrasting snow and ice albedos derived from MODIS, Landsat ETM+ and airborne data from Langjökull, Iceland

Pope, Ed L.; Willis, Ian C.; Pope, Allen; Miles, Evan S.; Arnold, Neil S.; Rees, W. Gareth. 2016 Contrasting snow and ice albedos derived from MODIS, Landsat ETM+ and airborne data from Langjökull, Iceland. Remote Sensing of Environment, 175. 183-195. 10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.051

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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Remote Sensing of Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was published in Remote Sensing of Environment (doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.051)
Pope%20et%20al%20Revised.pdf - Accepted Version

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© 2016 Elsevier B.V. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Remote Sensing of Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was published in Remote Sensing of Environment (doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.051)
Pope%20et%20al%20figures.pdf - Accepted Version

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Abstract/Summary

Surface albedo is a key parameter in the energy balance of glaciers and ice sheets because it controls the shortwave radiation budget, which is often the dominant term of a glacier's surface energy balance. Monitoring surface albedo is a key application of remote sensing and achieving consistency between instruments is crucial to accurate assessment of changing albedo. Here we take advantage of a high resolution (5 m) airborne multispectral dataset that was collected over Langjökull, Iceland in 2007, and compare it with near contemporaneous ETM+ and MODIS imagery. All three radiance datasets are converted to reflectance by applying commonly used atmospheric correction schemes: 6S and FLAASH. These are used to derive broadband albedos. We first assess the similarity of albedo values produced by different atmospheric correction schemes for the same instrument, then contrast results from different instruments. In this way we are able to evaluate the consistency of the available atmospheric correction algorithms and to consider the impacts of different spatial resolutions. We observe that FLAASH leads to the derivation of surface albedos greater than when 6S is used. Albedo is shown to be highly variable at small spatial scales. This leads to consistent differences associated with specific facies types between different resolution instruments, in part attributable to different surface bi-directional reflectance distribution functions. Uncertainties, however, still exist in this analysis as no correction for variable bi-directional reflectance distribution functions could be implemented for the ETM+ and airborne datasets.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.051
ISSN: 00344257
Additional Keywords: Albedo measurement; Landsat; MODIS; Snow; Ice; Glacier; Ice cap; Spatial scales; FLAASH; 6S
Date made live: 14 Feb 2017 11:00 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/516197

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