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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 18 — Jun. 20, 1999
  • pp: 3869–3875

Method to determine snow albedo values in the ultraviolet for radiative transfer modeling

Harry Schwander, Bernhard Mayer, Ansgar Ruggaber, Astrid Albold, Gunther Seckmeyer, and Peter Koepke  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 18, pp. 3869-3875 (1999)

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For many cases modeled and measured UV global irradiances agree to within ±5% for cloudless conditions, provided that all relevant parameters for describing the atmosphere and the surface are well known. However, for conditions with snow-covered surfaces this agreement is usually not achievable, because on the one hand the regional albedo, which has to be used in a model, is only rarely available and on the other hand UV irradiance alters with different snow cover of the surface by as much as 50%. Therefore a method is given to determine the regional albedo values for conditions with snow cover by use of a parameterization on the basis of snow depth and snow age, routinely monitored by the weather services. An algorithm is evolved by multiple linear regression between the snow data and snow-albedo values in the UV, which are determined from a best fit of modeled and measured UV irradiances for an alpine site in Europe. The resulting regional albedo values in the case of snow are in the 0.18–0.5 range. Since the constants of the regression depend on the area conditions, they have to be adapted if the method is applied for other sites. Using the algorithm for actual cases with different snow conditions improves the accuracy of modeled UV irradiances considerably. Compared with the use of an average, constant snow albedo, the use of actual albedo values, provided by the algorithm, halves the average deviations between measured and modeled UV global irradiances.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.5620) Coherence and statistical optics : Radiative transfer
(120.5700) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Reflection
(260.7190) Physical optics : Ultraviolet
(290.1350) Scattering : Backscattering
(350.5610) Other areas of optics : Radiation

Original Manuscript: October 20, 1998
Revised Manuscript: March 15, 1999
Published: June 20, 1999

Harry Schwander, Bernhard Mayer, Ansgar Ruggaber, Astrid Albold, Gunther Seckmeyer, and Peter Koepke, "Method to determine snow albedo values in the ultraviolet for radiative transfer modeling," Appl. Opt. 38, 3869-3875 (1999)

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