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High Latitude Annual Snow Melt Duration from Passive Microwave Sensors

Submitted by ORNL DAAC Staff on 2021-07-15
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Descriptive statistics for snow melt duration (SMD) for the period 1988-2016.
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Descriptive statistics for snow melt duration (SMD) for the period 1988-2016, including mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation. Units are the number of days per year. 

The ORNL DAAC recently released the following Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) dataset by Pan, C.G., et al. (2021):

ABoVE: Passive Microwave-derived Annual Snow Melt Duration Date Maps, 1988-2016

This dataset provides the annual period of snowpack melting (i.e., snow melt duration, SMD) across northwest Canada; Alaska, U.S.; and parts of far eastern Russia at 6.25 km resolution for the period 1988-2016. SMD is the number of days between the main melt onset date (MMOD) and the last day of seasonal snow cover, or snow off (SO), when the melting of snow is complete.  Both dates were estimated from satellite-based passive microwave sensors and validated using meteorological, field, and satellite observations. MMOD and SO were estimated from daily images in 19 and 37 GHz wavelengths with horizontal and vertical polarizations from the Making Earth Science Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) Calibrated Enhanced-Resolution Passive Microwave Daily EASE-Grid 2.0 Brightness Temperature (ESDR). This dataset documents variability in SMD across space and the 29-year temporal period.

The ABoVE is a NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program field campaign being conducted in Alaska and western Canada, for 8 to 10 years, starting in 2015. Research for ABoVE links field-based, process-level studies with geospatial data products derived from airborne and satellite sensors, providing a foundation for improving the analysis, and modeling capabilities needed to understand and predict ecosystem responses to, and societal implications of, climate change in the Arctic and Boreal regions.

Additional data from ABoVE and other relevant links can be found on the ORNL DAAC's ABoVE Project Page.

Citation: Pan, C.G., P.B. Kirchner, J.S. Kimball, and J. Du. 2021. ABoVE: Passive Microwave-derived Annual Snow Melt Duration Date Maps, 1988-2016. ORNL DAAC, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. https://doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1843

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