Summary Results from:

Evaluation of MODIS and VIIRS cloud-gap-filled snow-cover products for production of an Earth science data record
As they relate to the validation of mod10/29

Authors: Dorothy K. Hall, George A. Riggs, Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, and Miguel O. Román

Source: Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 23, 5227–5241, 2019

Link to: Access Publication


MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiome- ter (MODIS) cryosphere products have been available since 2000 – following the 1999 launch of the Terra MODIS and the 2002 launch of the Aqua MODIS – and include global snow-cover extent (SCE) (swath, daily, and 8 d composites) at 500 m and ∼5 km spatial resolutions. These products are used extensively in hydrological modeling and climate studies. Reprocessing of the complete snow-cover data record, from Collection 5 (C5) to Collection 6 (C6) and Collection 6.1 (C6.1), has provided improvements in the MODIS product suite. Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S- NPP) Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) Collection 1 (C1) snow-cover products at a 375 m spatial resolution have been available since 2011 and are currently being reprocessed for Collection 2 (C2). Both the MODIS C6.1 and the VIIRS C2 products will be available for download from the National Snow and Ice Data Center beginning in early 2020 with the complete time series available in 2020. To address the need for a cloud-reduced or cloud-free daily SCE product for both MODIS and VIIRS, a daily cloud-gap-filled (CGF) snow-cover algorithm was developed for MODIS C6.1 and VIIRS C2 processing. MOD10A1F (Terra) and MYD10A1F (Aqua) are daily, 500m resolution CGF SCE map products from MODIS. VNP10A1F is the daily, 375 m resolution CGF SCE map product from VIIRS. These CGF products include quality-assurance data such as cloud- persistence statistics showing the age of the observation in each pixel. The objective of this paper is to introduce the new MODIS and VIIRS standard CGF daily SCE products and to provide a preliminary evaluation of uncertainties in the gap-filling methodology so that the products can be used as the basis for a moderate-resolution Earth science data record (ESDR) of SCE. Time series of the MODIS and VIIRS CGF products have been developed and evaluated at selected study sites in the US and southern Canada. Observed differences, although small, are largely attributed to cloud masking and differences in the time of day of image acquisition. A nearly 3-month time-series comparison of Terra MODIS and S-NPP VIIRS CGF snow-cover maps for a large study area covering all or parts of 11 states in the western US and part of southwestern Canada reveals excellent correspondence between the Terra MODIS and S-NPP VIIRS products, with a mean difference of 11070 km2, which is ∼0.45% of the study area. According to our preliminary validation of the Terra and Aqua MODIS CGF SCE products in the western US study area, we found higher accuracy of the Terra product compared with the Aqua product. The MODIS CGF SCE data record beginning in 2000 has been extended into the VIIRS era, which should last at least through the early 2030s.