ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2016, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 213-216

Observations of a snowless area in the Apukvaiam River valley

E.A. Loupian 1 , M.A. Bourtsev 1 , Yu.S. Krasheninnikova 1 
1 Space Research Institute RAS, Moscow, Russia

Accepted: 18.02.2016
DOI: 10.21046/2070-7401-2016-13-1-213-216 

We briefly report on observations of a stable snowless area in the Apukvaiam River valley (Oliutor Region of Kamchatka) during the 2015-2016 winter season. An observation of the area on Feb 9, 2016 by Sentinel-2A sensor is discussed. At that moment the snowless area exceeded 34000 ha, its extent along the river exceeded 40 km. The analysis of historical Landsat data showed that the snowless area in that region was observed in previous years as well. It was also observed by TERRA/AQUA MODIS during the whole operation period of the instrument. In some years, the snowless area emerged only at the end of the winter season or even did not emerge at all. However, we were unable to come across a situation similar to the 2015-2016 one when the area remained snowless almost the whole winter season. The snowless area included a large variety of water surface types (rivers, lakes, creeks). They were distinct both in optical and NIR images (Sentinel-2A) and in radar images (Sentinel-1). A variety of water surface structures were observed in the given area. There is still no clarity on the reasons why the discussed area regularly remains snowless and the observed water structures appear. Obviously, further investigation is required using both satellite and ground data, scarce though the latter are on that barely inhabited area. Complex satellite data analysis for the purposes of this work was enabled by Vega-Science, VolSatView and SRC Planeta information systems.
Keywords: satellite Earth observation systems, snow cover, remote sensing data
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