EGU2020-21774, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Remote sensing of snow and atmosphere properties using Ocean and Land Colour Instrument on board Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission

Alexander Kokhanovsky1, Jason Box2, Baptiste Vandecrux2, and Michael Kern3
Alexander Kokhanovsky et al.
  • 1VITROCISET BELGIUM SPRL, RSP, Darmstadt, Germany (
  • 2Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3ESTEC/ESA, Science, Applications and Climate Department (EOP-SME), Noordwijk, The Netherlands

In this work we propose a simple technique to derive snow and atmosphere properties from satellite top-of-atmosphere spectral reflectance observations using asymptotic radiative transfer theory valid for the case of weakly absorbing and optically thick media. The following snow properties are derived and analyzed: ice grain size, snow specific surface area, snow pollution load, snow spectral and broadband albedo. The developed retrieval technique includes both atmospheric correction and cloud screening routines and is based on Ocean and Land Colour Instrument (OLCI) measurements on board Sentinel-3A, B. The spectral aerosol optical thickness, total ozone and water vapour column are derived fitting the measured and simulated OLCI-registered spectral reflectances at 21 OLCI channels.

The derived results are validated using ground - based observations. It follows that satellite observations can be used to study time series of spectral and broadband albedo over Greenland. The deviations of satellite and ground observations are due to problems with cloud screening over snow and also due to different spatial scale of satellite and ground observations (Kokhanovsky et al., 2020).


The work has been supported by the European Space Agency in the framework of ESRIN contract No. 4000118926/16/I-NB ‘Scientific Exploitation of Operational Missions (SEOM) Sentinel-3 Snow (Sentinel-3 for Science, Land Study 1: Snow’) and ESRIN contract 4000125043 – ESA/AO/1-9101/17/I-NB EO science for society ‘Pre-operational Sentinel-3 snow and ice products’.


Kokhanovsky, A.A., et al. (2020), The determination of snow albedo from satellite observations using fast atmospheric correction technique, Remote Sensing, 12 (2), 234,

How to cite: Kokhanovsky, A., Box, J., Vandecrux, B., and Kern, M.: Remote sensing of snow and atmosphere properties using Ocean and Land Colour Instrument on board Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21774,, 2020