Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-55
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-55
26 Feb 2024
 | 26 Feb 2024
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ESSD and is expected to appear here in due course.

Time series of alpine snow surface radiative temperature maps from high precision thermal infrared imaging

Sara Arioli, Ghislain Picard, Laurent Arnaud, Simon Gascoin, Esteban Alonso-González, Marine Poizat, and Mark Irvine

Abstract. The surface temperature of the snow cover is a key variable, as it provides information about the current state of the snowpack, helps predict its future evolution, and enhances estimations of the snow water equivalent. Although satellites are often used to measure surface temperature and despite the difficulty to retrieve accurate surface temperature from space, calibration-validation datasets over snow-covered areas are scarce. We present a dataset of extensive measurements of the radiative surface temperature of snow acquired with an uncooled Thermal Infrared (TIR) camera. The set accuracy goal is 0.7 K, which is the radiometric accuracy of the TIR sensor of the future CNES/ISRO TRISHNA mission. TIR images have been acquired over two winter seasons, November 2021 to May 2022 and February to May 2023 at the Col du Lautaret, 2057 m a.s.l. in the French Alps. During the first season, the camera operated in the off-the-shelf configuration, with a rough thermal regulation (7 °C–39 °C). An improved setup with a stabilized internal temperature was developed for the second campaign, and comprehensive laboratory experiments were carried out in order to characterize the physical properties of the TIR camera components and its calibration. A thorough processing including radiometric processing, orthorectification and a filter for poor visibility conditions due to fog or snowfall have been performed. The result is two winter season timeseries of 130,019 maps of the surface radiative temperature of snow with meter-scale resolution over an area of 0.5 km2. The validation is performed against precision TIR radiometers. We found an absolute accuracy (MAE) of 1.28 K during winter 2021–2022 and 0.67 K for spring 2023. The efforts to stabilize the internal temperature of the TIR camera therefore led to a notable improvement of the accuracy. Although some uncertainties persist, particularly the temperature overestimation during melt, this dataset represents a major advance in the capacity to monitor and map surface temperature in mountainous areas, and to calibrate-validate satellite measurements over snow-covered areas of complex topography. The complete dataset is at https://doi.org/10.57932/d4e105c4-b6a3-4520-b174-3913fbb20cb7 (Arioli et al., 2024a) and https://doi.org/10.57932/8c782a49-c992-47af-89bb-2684093e2c65 (Arioli et al., 2024b).

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Sara Arioli, Ghislain Picard, Laurent Arnaud, Simon Gascoin, Esteban Alonso-González, Marine Poizat, and Mark Irvine

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2024-55', Oliver Wigmore, 28 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2024-55', Steven Pestana, 30 Apr 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2024-55', Oliver Wigmore, 28 Apr 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2024-55', Steven Pestana, 30 Apr 2024
Sara Arioli, Ghislain Picard, Laurent Arnaud, Simon Gascoin, Esteban Alonso-González, Marine Poizat, and Mark Irvine

Data sets

Timeseries of the snow surface temperature acquired at the Col du Lautaret (French Alps) during winter 2021-2022 with an uncooled thermal infrared camera Sara Arioli, Ghislain Picard, and Laurent Arnaud https://doi.org/10.57932/d4e105c4-b6a3-4520-b174-3913fbb20cb7

Timeseries of the snow surface temperature acquired at the Col du Lautaret (French Alps) during spring 2023 with an uncooled thermal infrared camera Sara Arioli, Ghislain Picard, and Laurent Arnaud https://doi.org/10.57932/8c782a49-c992-47af-89bb-2684093e2c65

Sara Arioli, Ghislain Picard, Laurent Arnaud, Simon Gascoin, Esteban Alonso-González, Marine Poizat, and Mark Irvine

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Short summary
High accuracy and precision maps of the surface temperature of snow were acquired with an uncooled thermal infrared camera during winter 2021–2022 and spring 2023. The accuracy -mean absolute error- improved from 1.28 K to 0.67 K between the seasons thanks to an improved camera setup and temperature stabilization. The dataset represents a major advance in order to validate satellite measurements and physical snow models over complex topography.
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