Snow cover is particularly important in the Alps for tourism and the production of hydroelectric energy. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in three snow cover metrics, i.e., the length of season (LOS), start of season (SOS) and end of season (EOS), obtained by gap-filling of MOD10A1 and MYD10A1, daily snow cover products of MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer). We analyze the period 2000–2019, evaluate snow cover patterns in the greater Alpine region (GAR) as a whole and further subdivide it into four subregions based on geographical and climate divides to investigate the drivers of local variability. We found differences both in space and time, with the northeastern region having generally the highest LOS (74 ± 4 days), compared to the southern regions, which exhibit a much shorter snow duration (48/49 ± 2 days). Spatially, the variability in LOS and the other metrics is clearly related to elevation (r2 = 0.85 for the LOS), while other topographic (slope, aspect and shading) and geographic variables (latitude and longitude) play a less important role at the MODIS scale. A high interannual variability was also observed from 2000 to 2019, as the average LOS in the GAR ranged between 41 and 85 days. As a result of high variability, no significant trends in snow cover metrics were seen over the GAR when considering all grid cells. Considering 500-m elevation bands and subregions, as well as individual grid points, we observed significant negative trends above 3000 m a.s.l., with an average of −17 days per decade. While some trends appeared to be caused by glacierized areas, removing grid cells covered by glaciers leads to an even higher frequency of grid cells with significant trends above 3000 m a.s.l., reaching 100% at 4000 m a.s.l. Trends are however to be considered with caution because of the limited length of the observation period.

Snow cover variability in the greater alpine region in the MODIS era (2000–2019) / D. Fugazza, V. Manara, A. Senese, G. Diolaiuti, M. Maugeri. - In: REMOTE SENSING. - ISSN 2072-4292. - 13:15(2021 Jul 27), pp. 2945.1-2945.26. [10.3390/rs13152945]

Snow cover variability in the greater alpine region in the MODIS era (2000–2019)

D. Fugazza
;
V. Manara;A. Senese;G. Diolaiuti;M. Maugeri
2021-07-27

Abstract

Snow cover is particularly important in the Alps for tourism and the production of hydroelectric energy. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in three snow cover metrics, i.e., the length of season (LOS), start of season (SOS) and end of season (EOS), obtained by gap-filling of MOD10A1 and MYD10A1, daily snow cover products of MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer). We analyze the period 2000–2019, evaluate snow cover patterns in the greater Alpine region (GAR) as a whole and further subdivide it into four subregions based on geographical and climate divides to investigate the drivers of local variability. We found differences both in space and time, with the northeastern region having generally the highest LOS (74 ± 4 days), compared to the southern regions, which exhibit a much shorter snow duration (48/49 ± 2 days). Spatially, the variability in LOS and the other metrics is clearly related to elevation (r2 = 0.85 for the LOS), while other topographic (slope, aspect and shading) and geographic variables (latitude and longitude) play a less important role at the MODIS scale. A high interannual variability was also observed from 2000 to 2019, as the average LOS in the GAR ranged between 41 and 85 days. As a result of high variability, no significant trends in snow cover metrics were seen over the GAR when considering all grid cells. Considering 500-m elevation bands and subregions, as well as individual grid points, we observed significant negative trends above 3000 m a.s.l., with an average of −17 days per decade. While some trends appeared to be caused by glacierized areas, removing grid cells covered by glaciers leads to an even higher frequency of grid cells with significant trends above 3000 m a.s.l., reaching 100% at 4000 m a.s.l. Trends are however to be considered with caution because of the limited length of the observation period.
alpine region; length of season; MODIS; snow cover; snow cover spatial variability; snow cover trends
Settore GEO/04 - Geografia Fisica e Geomorfologia
Settore ICAR/06 - Topografia e Cartografia
Interdisciplinary Project for assessing current and expected climate change impacts on mountain pastures (IPCC MOUPA)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/861426
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