A new snowfall detection algorithm for high latitude regions based on a combination of active and passive sensors

Todini, Giulio (2008) A new snowfall detection algorithm for high latitude regions based on a combination of active and passive sensors, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Modellistica fisica per la protezione dell'ambiente, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/982.
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Precipitation retrieval over high latitudes, particularly snowfall retrieval over ice and snow, using satellite-based passive microwave spectrometers, is currently an unsolved problem. The challenge results from the large variability of microwave emissivity spectra for snow and ice surfaces, which can mimic, to some degree, the spectral characteristics of snowfall. This work focuses on the investigation of a new snowfall detection algorithm specific for high latitude regions, based on a combination of active and passive sensors able to discriminate between snowing and non snowing areas. The space-borne Cloud Profiling Radar (on CloudSat), the Advanced Microwave Sensor units A and B (on NOAA-16) and the infrared spectrometer MODIS (on AQUA) have been co-located for 365 days, from October 1st 2006 to September 30th, 2007. CloudSat products have been used as truth to calibrate and validate all the proposed algorithms. The methodological approach followed can be summarised into two different steps. In a first step, an empirical search for a threshold, aimed at discriminating the case of no snow, was performed, following Kongoli et al. [2003]. This single-channel approach has not produced appropriate results, a more statistically sound approach was attempted. Two different techniques, which allow to compute the probability above and below a Brightness Temperature (BT) threshold, have been used on the available data. The first technique is based upon a Logistic Distribution to represent the probability of Snow given the predictors. The second technique, defined Bayesian Multivariate Binary Predictor (BMBP), is a fully Bayesian technique not requiring any hypothesis on the shape of the probabilistic model (such as for instance the Logistic), which only requires the estimation of the BT thresholds. The results obtained show that both methods proposed are able to discriminate snowing and non snowing condition over the Polar regions with a probability of correct detection larger than 0.5, highlighting the importance of a multispectral approach.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Todini, Giulio
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
microwave remote sensing polar regions snowfall bayesian
Data di discussione
27 Giugno 2008

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