Snow Cover Reconstruction in the Brunswick Peninsula, Patagonia, Derived from a Combination of the Spectral Fusion, Mixture Analysis, and Temporal Interpolation of MODIS Data

Resumen: Several methods based on satellite data products are available to estimate snow cover properties, each one with its pros and cons. This work proposes and implements a novel methodology that integrates three main processes applied to MODIS satellite data for snow cover property reconstruction: (1) the increase in the spatial resolution of MODIS (MOD09) data to 250 m using a spectral fusion technique; (2) a new proposal of snow-cloud discrimination; (3) the daily spatio-temporal reconstruction of snow extent and its albedo signature using the endmembers extraction and spectral mixture analyses. The snow cover reconstruction method was applied to the Brunswick Peninsula, Chilean Patagonia, a low-elevation (<1500 m a.s.l.) mid-latitude area. The results show a 98% agreement between MODIS snow detection and ground-based snow measurements at the automatic weather station, Tres Morros (53.3174°S, 71.2790°W), with fractional snow cover values between 20% and 50%, showing a close relationship between snow and vegetation type. The number of snow days compiled from the MODIS data indicates a good performance (Pearson’s correlation of 0.9) compared with the number of skiing days at the Cerro Mirador ski center, Punta Arenas. Although the number of seasonal snow days showed a significant increasing trend of 0.54 days/year in the Brunswick Peninsula during the 2000–2020 period, a significant decrease of −4.64 days/year was detected in 2010–2020.


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