07 Dec 2021
07 Dec 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A new snow depth data set over northern China by developing a comprehensive framework using the complex GNSS station networks (GSnow-CHINA v1.0, 2013–2020)

Wei Wan1, Jie Zhang2, Liyun Dai3, Hong Liang4, Baojian Liu1, Zhizhou Guo1, Heng Hu4, Ting Yang5, and Limin Zhao6 Wei Wan et al.
  • 1Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 2College of Oceanography and Space Informatics, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Gansu Province, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 4Meteorological Observation Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
  • 5Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 6Aerospace Information Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

Abstract. The currently available long-term snow depth data sets are either from point-scale ground measurements or from gridded satellite/modeled/reanalysis data with coarse spatial resolution, which limits the applications in climate model, hydrological model, and regional snow disaster monitoring. Benefit from its unique advantages of cost-effective and high spatial-temporal resolution (~ 1000 m2, hourly in theory), snow depth retrieval using the Global Navigation Satellite System Interferometric Reflectometry (GNSS-IR) technique has become a popular topic in recent years. However, due to complex environmental and observation conditions, developing robust and operational technology to produce long-term snow depth data sets using observations from various GNSS station networks is still challenging. The two objectives of this study are 1) to propose a comprehensive framework using raw data of the complex GNSS station networks to retrieve snow depth and to control its quality automatically; and 2) to produce a long-term snow depth data set over northern China (i.e., GSnow-CHINA v1.0, 12 h/24 h, 2013–2020) using the proposed framework and historical data from 80 stations. The data set has high internal consistency with regards to different GNSS systems (mean r = 0.97 & RMSD = 1.93 cm), different frequency bands (mean r = 0.96 & RMSD = 2.73 cm), and different GNSS receivers (mean r = 0.88). The data set also has high external consistency with the in-situ measurements and the passive microwave (PMW) product, with a consistent illustration of the interannual snow depth variability. The results also show the good potential of GNSS to derive hourly snow depth observations for better monitoring snow disasters. The proposed framework to develop the data set provides comprehensive and supportive information for users to process raw data of ground GNSS stations with complex environmental conditions and various observation conditions. The resulting GSnow-CHINA v1.0 data set is distinguished from the current point-scale in-situ data or coarse-gridded data, which can be used as an independent data source for validation purposes. The data set is also useful for regional climate research and other meteorological and hydrological applications. The algorithm and the data files will be maintained and updated as more years of data become available in the future. The GSnow-CHINA v1.0 data set is available at (Wan et al. 2021).

Wei Wan et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-432', Anonymous Referee #1, 31 Dec 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Wei Wan, 03 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-432', Kristine Larson, 29 Jan 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Wei Wan, 03 Mar 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on essd-2021-432', Anonymous Referee #3, 16 Mar 2022
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Wei Wan, 11 Apr 2022

Wei Wan et al.

Data sets

A GNSS-based snow depth data set over northern China (GSnow-CHINA v1.0, 12h/24h, 2013-2020) Wan, W., Zhang, J., Dai, L., Liang, H., Liu, B., Guo, Z., Hu, H., Yang, T., Zhao, L.

Wei Wan et al.


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Short summary
The GSnow-CHINA data set is a snow depth data set developed using the two Global Navigation Satellite System station networks in China. It includes snow depth of 24-, 12-, and 2-hour records, if possible, for 80 sites from 2013–2020 over northern China (25–55° N, 70–140° E). The footprint of the data set is ~1000 m2, and it can be used as an independent data source for validation purposes. It is also useful for regional climate research and other meteorological and hydrological applications.