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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Improving Snow Data Assimilation with Satellite Altimetry

Awarded: NOK 0.12 mill.

Despite its vital role in modulating the energy and water balance budget, snow distributions in time and space remain poorly understood. The project aim is to improve the current snow data assimilation state-of-the-art methods by adding snow depth observations from the satellite altimeter ICESat-2. This sensor can accurately measure the elevation of the snow surface, also during the polar night in contrast to established satellites used for snow observation. This capability is expected to shed light on processes previously impossible to observe from space. However, ground truth measurements are needed as an independent validation both for the ICESat-2 snow depth measurements and to assess the snow modelling methods. The area around Ny-Ålesund is well suited for this because of the research facilities available, and because of the past work carried out by the UiO Department of Geosciences before.

Funding scheme:

SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Thematic Areas and Topics