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Dorothy Hall

Dorothy Hall

Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory (Code 615), NASA/GSFC.
ESSIC / University of Maryland, College Park
301-614-5771 (o)

Extensive snow-mapping research has been conducted at Goddard mainly in the Cryospheric Sciences and Hydrological Sciences Laboratories over the last several decades.  Algorithms have been developed to map snow and sea ice cover using Landsat, MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), and to develop snow and sea ice data products.  In addition, work has been conducted to measure surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet using MODIS data products.

The MODIS snow and sea ice products, available from March 2000 to present, are archived and distributed by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado [].  Many millions of MODIS snow and ice data granules have been distributed to users worldwide following the 1999 launch of the Terra MODIS satellite.  VIIRS snow products, available beginning in January 2012, are also beginning to be distributed by NSIDC [].  The data products are used to measure decade-scale snow-cover changes and also by hydrological modelers to develop snow-cover depletion curves and to help predict the timing and quantity of snowmelt. 

Recently, a daily, monthly and annual multi-layer product has been developed of the Greenland Ice Sheet including the following layers of information: ice-surface temperature (IST), melt extent, albedo and water vapor.  This data product was developed using standard Terra MODIS data products.

Please visit for further details.

Further Reading:

  1. Riggs, G.A., D.K. Hall and M.O. Román, 2017: overview of NASA’s MODIS and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) snow-cover Earth System Data Records, Earth System Science Data, 9:1-13,
  2. Riggs, G.A., D.K. Hall and M.O. Román, 2016: MODIS snow products user guide for Collection 6 (C6) [].
  3. Riggs, G.A., D.K. Hall and M. Román, 2016: VIIRS snow products user guide for Collection 1 (C1) [].
  4. Riggs, G.A., Hall, D.K, and Román, M.O. 2016: VIIRS Snow Cover Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD), NASA VIIRS project document []. 
  5. Hall, D.K., C.J. Crawford, N.E. DiGirolamo, G.A. Riggs and J.L. Foster, 2015: Detection of earlier snowmelt in the Wind River Range, Wyoming, using Landsat imagery, Remote Sensing of Environment, 162:45-54,
  6. Hall, D.K., J.C. Comiso, N.E. DiGirolamo, C.A. Shuman, J.E. Box, and L.S. Koenig, 2013: Variability in the surface temperature and melt extent of the Greenland ice sheet from MODIS, Geophysical Research Letters, 40:1-7, doi:10.1002/grl.50240.
  7. Hall, D.K., J.C. Comiso, N.E. DiGirolamo, C.A. Shuman, J.R. Key and L.S. Koenig, 2012: A Satellite-Derived Climate-Quality Data Record of the Clear-Sky Surface Temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet, Journal of Climate, 25(14):4785-4798.
  8. Hall, D.K., J.L. Foster, N.E. DiGirolamo and G.A. Riggs, 2012: Snow cover, snowmelt timing and stream power in the Wind River Range, Wyoming, Geomorphology, 137(1):87-93, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.11.011 (Invited Contribution for Special Issue).
  9. Hall, D.K., G.A. Riggs, J.L. Foster and S. Kumar, 2010: Development and validation of a cloud-gap filled MODIS daily snow-cover product, Remote Sensing of Environment, 114:496-503, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2009.10.007.
  10. Hall, D.K. and G.A. Riggs, 2007: Accuracy assessment of the MODIS snow-cover products, Hydrological Processes, 21(12):1534-1547, doi:10.1002/hyp.6715.
  11. Déry, S.J., V.V. Salomonson, M. Stieglitz, D.K. Hall and I. Appel, 2005: An approach to using snow areal depletion curves inferred from MODIS and its application to land surface modelling in Alaska, Hydrological Processes, doi:10.1002/hyp5784.
  12. Hall, D.K., J. Key, K.A. Casey, G.A. Riggs and D. J. Cavalieri, 2004: Sea ice surface temperature product from the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 42(5):1076-1087.
  13. Hall, D.K.., G.A. Riggs, V.V. Salomonson, N.E. DiGirolamo and K.A. Bayr, 2002: MODIS snow-cover products, Remote Sensing of Environment, 83:181-194