ASSIMILATION OF PASSIVE MICROWAVE BRIGHTNESS TEMPERATURES FOR SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT ESTIMATION USING THE NASA CATCHMENT LAND SURFACE MODEL AND MACHINE LEARNING ALGORITHMS IN NORTH AMERICA
Forman, Barton A.
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Snow is a critical component in the global energy and hydrologic cycle. It is important to know the mass of snow because it serves as the dominant source of drinking water for more than one billion people worldwide. To accurately estimate the depth of snow and mass of water within a snow pack across regional or continental scales is a challenge, especially in the presence of dense vegetations since direct quantification of SWE is complicated by spatial and temporal variability. To overcome some of the limitations encountered by traditional SWE retrieval algorithms or radiative transfer-based snow emission models, this study explores the use of a well-trained support vector machine to merge an advanced land surface model within a variant of radiance emission (i.e., brightness temperature) assimilation experiments. In general, modest improvements in snow depth, and SWE predictability were witnessed as a result of the assimilation procedure over snow-covered terrain in North America when compared against available snow products as well as ground-based observations. These preliminary findings are encouraging and suggest the potential for global-scale snow estimation via the proposed assimilation procedure.