X-Ray Tomography-Based Microstructure Representation in the Snow Microwave Radiative Transfer Model

Sandells, Melody, Löwe, Henning, Picard, Ghislain, Dumont, Marie, Essery, Richardry, Floury, Nicolas, Kontu, Anna, Lemmetyinen, Juha, Maslanka, William, Morin, Samuel, Wiesmann, Andreas and Mätzler, Christian (2021) X-Ray Tomography-Based Microstructure Representation in the Snow Microwave Radiative Transfer Model. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. ISSN 0196-2892 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1109/tgrs.2021.3086412


The modular Snow Microwave Radiative Transfer (SMRT) model simulates microwave scattering behaviour in snow via different selectable theories and snow microstructure representations, which is well suited to intercomparisons analyses. Here, five microstructure models were parameterized from microCT and thin section images of snow samples and evaluated with SMRT. Three field experiments provided observations of scattering and absorption coefficients, brightness temperature and/or backscatter with increasing complexity of snowpack. These took place in Sodankyl¨a, Finland, and Weissfluhjoch, Switzerland. Simulations of scattering and absorption coefficients agreed
well with observations, with higher errors for snow with predominantly vertical structures. For simulation of brightness temperature, difficulty in retrieving stickiness with the Sticky Hard Sphere microstructure model resulted in relatively poor performance for two experiments, but good agreement for the third. Exponential microstructure gave generally good results, near to the best performing models for two field experiments. The Independent Sphere model gave intermediate results. New Teubner-Strey and Gaussian Random Field models demonstrated advantages of SMRT over microwave models with restricted microstructural geometry. Relative model performance are assessed by the quality of the microstructure model fit to micro-CT data and further improvements may be possible with different fitting techniques. Careful consideration of simulation stratigraphy is required in this new era of high-resolution microstructure measurement as layers thinner than the wavelength introduce artificial scattering boundaries not seen by the instrument.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors would like to thank the European Space Agency (ESA) for funding this research (ESTEC:4000112698/14/NL/LvH) and all contributors to SMRT development and testing. Staff at Finnish Meteorological Institute are acknowledged for assisting in data collection for the NoSREx and ASMEx campaigns. We thank the reviewers for their careful consideration and comments that have helped improve this paper, particularly the suggestion to include microstructure fit metrics.
Uncontrolled Keywords: snow, microstructure, microwave scattering, Snow Microwave Radiative Transfer model, SMRT
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
F900 Others in Physical Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 21 May 2021 10:27
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 10:49
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/46240

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