Exploring the Potential for a Fused Landsat-MODIS Snow Covered Area Product

TitleExploring the Potential for a Fused Landsat-MODIS Snow Covered Area Product
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2011
AuthorsSelkowitz, D.
Conference Name79th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 79th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 2011
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationStateline, NV
KeywordsRocky Mountains, Colorado, Landsat, MODIS, snow covered area, remote sensing

Results from nine 3 x 3 km study areas in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA demonstrate there is potential for using sporadically acquired Landsat images in combination with daily coarse resolution fractional snow covered area (SCA) images to produce daily high resolution binary SCA images. The results also highlight several challenges to implementing this type of approach. The approach described here consistently yields accurate results in locations with persistent winter and spring snow cover where ten or more partially snow covered images are available to populate the image database, but is less successful in areas with shallower or more ephemeral snow covers or when fewer images are available to populate the image database. This work represents a first step towards developing an algorithm to combine Landsat and MODIS data to produce daily 30 m resolution binary SCA images. Further research should focus on testing the accuracy of this approach across a range of landscape types and snow cover regimes, developing methods to improve prediction accuracy when snow cover is nearly complete or nearly absent, and developing methods to compensate for the effects of canopy cover on SCA retrievals.