EGU23-17234, updated on 26 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Tower based C-band measurements of an alpine snowpack

Isis Brangers1, Hans-Peter Marshall2, Grabielle J.M. De Lannoy1, and Hans Lievens3
Isis Brangers et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
  • 2Department of Geosciences, Boise State University, Boise, ID, USA
  • 3Department of Environment, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Measuring snow from space is still a significant challenge in hydrology. Work by Lievens et al. (2019) for the first time showed the potential of the Sentinel-1 C-band radar mission to measure snow depth from space. However, the physical interactions between snow grains and the comparatively long C-band waves are not sufficiently understood. To improve this understanding, a tower based C-band radar experiment was set up in Idaho’s Rocky mountains starting from January 2020. The ultra-wideband radar system recorded the reflections in the time-domain, allowing to study the return throughout the different layers of the snowpack at a fine resolution. Reference data of the stratigraphy and snow properties were collected during ~weekly site visits. Our results indicate that some volume scattering is present at C-band for dry snow, and that the backscatter return increases substantially after melt-freeze cycles and with the appearance of ice features within the snowpack.

How to cite: Brangers, I., Marshall, H.-P., De Lannoy, G. J. M., and Lievens, H.: Tower based C-band measurements of an alpine snowpack, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-17234,, 2023.

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Supplementary material file