Assessing snowpack water equivalent distribution in the Exeter-Yamba-Daring Lake catchment, Coppermine River Basin, NWT, using in-situ snow surveys and various scales of passive microwave remote sensing data

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: remote sensing, snow water equivalence, snow

Principal Investigator: English, Michael C (24)
Licence Number: 13771
Organization: Wilfrid Laurier University
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Issued: Apr 11, 2005
Project Team: Andrew Ree

Objective(s): To date, the use of passive microwave remote sensing data to estimate and monitor snow cover properties in Canada has been primarily focused on the prairie and boreal forest regions. This project will improve the national snow water equivalent (SWE) monitoring capabilities by acquiring the necessary data to estimate SWE in the spatially expansive and persistently snow covered tundra environment. The project is a continuation of work begun in 2004 and is an on snow survey campaign for direct evaluation of spaceborne, airborne, and ground-based passive microwave SWE retrievals within a large sub-basin of the Coppermine River basin. Analysis to date suggests that systematic passive microwave SWE underestimation occurs in the open tundra environment, potentially as a result of the unique microwave emission and scattering characteristics of frozen lakes which comprise a high proportion of the surface area, as well as from uneven snow distribution. A multi-agency, collaborative field campaign will involve the acquisition of in-situ snow cover and lake ice data to correspond with the remotely sensed datasets. These datasets will allow consideration of lake coverage in the current SWE algorithm suites, and produce a tundra-specific SWE retrieval algorithm(s).