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SnowEx 2023 Tundra and Boreal Forest


The upcoming SnowEx campaign will take place in the tundra and boreal forest regions of Alaska this winter 2022-23.  For this campaign, there will be three distinct measurement periods – one during low-snow conditions in October 2022, one during snow-on conditions in March 2023, and one to capture the melt season in April 2023. Below is the timeline of events scheduled for the campaign: 


The Measurement Strategy: 

Ground-based measurements will be point-based observations and serve as a robust validation data set to compare with the scheduled airborne and overlapping satellite observations. Manual sampling on the ground will include observations of both ground and snow conditions. 


Ground Measurements

Ground conditions: 

  • Soil moisture
  • Freeze-thaw state
  • TLS - to characterize under/within canopy snow and no-snow conditions

Snow conditions:

  • Snow pits - selected with input from models, 2022 lidar data
  • Snow depth transects or spirals (magnaprobe, GPR)
  • mini-pits/SMP - variability in stratigraphy
  • SWE tubes - snow density variability
  • Microstructure (SSA, SMP, Casting)


Airborne Measurements

  • Active/passive microwave (SWESARR) during no/low-snow and snow-on conditions
  • Lidar & stereo imagery during no/low-snow and snow-on conditions
  • Hyperspectral (AVIRIS-NG) during melt period at boreal forest sites


Coincident satellite observations

  • ICESat-2 (lidar)
  • Worldview (optical)
  • Pleaides-HR (optical)
  • BlackSky (optical)
  • Planet SkySat-C (optical)
  • Capella (X-band)
  • ICEYE (X-band)
  • Sentinel 1A (C-band)

Learn more by reading the 2023 Experimental Plan