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Baumgras, L.M., 2002

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Bibliographic Reference

Baumgras, L.M., 2002, Initiation of snow melt on the North Slope of Alaska as observed with spaceborne passive microwave data: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Ph.D. dissertation, 128 p., illust.


The snow melt initiation (SMI) algorithm developed in this dissertation employs remotely-sensed, passive microwave data to identify daily temperature fluctuations in snow in the North Slope of Alaska region. The dissertation research has yielded useful information about seasonal snow melt patterns on the North Slope of Alaska with respect to climatic forcing factors and snow melt data that can be incorporated into hydrologic models. The SMI algorithm differs from existing snow melt algorithms in that it is based on the diurnal difference of brightness temperatures in a single frequency and polarization and employs a dynamic threshold. The algorithm is useful over extensive regions where different physiographic and snowpack conditions are found because it is based on the ratio between the diurnal differences in the brightness temperatures during premelt conditions and initial wetting of the snowpack by liquid water. Effects of atmospheric teleconnections on the spatial and temporal patterns of snow melt initiation are examined. The spatial patterns evident in the melt initiation days calculated by this method show excellent correspondence with meteorological data and NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data.

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