A Spectral Analysis of Snow in Mt. Rainier

  •  Shrinidhi Ambinakudige    
  •  Pushkar Inamdar    
  •  Aynaz Lotfata    


Snow cover helps regulate the temperature of the Earth's surface. Snowmelt recharges groundwater, provides run-off for rivers and creeks, and acts as a major source of local water for many communities around the world. Since 2000, there has been a significant decrease in the snow-covered area in the Northern Hemisphere. Climate change is the major factor influencing the change in snow cover amount and distribution. We analyze spectral properties of the remote sensing sensors with respect to the study of snow and examine how data from some of the major remote sensing satellite sensors, such as (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) ASTER, Landsat-8, and Sentinel-2, can be used in studying snow. The study was conducted in Mt. Rainier. Although reflectance values recorded were lower due to the timing of the data collection and the aspect of the study site, data can still be used calculate normalized difference snow index (NDSI) to clearly demarcate the snow from other land cover classes. NDSI values in all three satellites ranged from 0.94 to 0.97 in the snow-covered area of the study site. Any pollutants in snow can have a major influence on spectral reflectance in the VIS spectrum because pollutants absorb more than snow.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9779
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9787
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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