Remote Sensing, Vol. 14, Pages 4840: Point-to-Surface Upscaling Algorithms for Snow Depth Ground Observations

Remote Sensing doi: 10.3390/rs14194840

Yingxu Hou
Xiaodong Huang
Lin Zhao

To validate the accuracy of snow depth products retrieved from passive microwave remote sensing data with a high confidence level, the verification method based on points of ground observation is subject to great uncertainty, due to the scale effect. Thus, it is necessary to use a point-to-surface scale transformation method to obtain the relative ground truth at the remote sensing pixel scale. In this study, by using the snow depth ground observations at different observation scales, the upscaling methods are conducted based on simple average (SA), geostatistical, Bayes maximum entropy (BME), and random forest (RF) algorithms. In addition, the cross-validation of the leave-one-out method is employed to validate the upscaling results. The results show that the SA algorithm is seriously inadequate for estimating snow depth variation in space, and is only suitable for regions with relatively flat terrain and small variation of snow depth. The BME algorithm can introduce prior knowledge and perform kernel smoothing on observed data, and the upscaling result is superior to geostatistical and RF algorithms, especially when the observed data is insufficient, and outliers appear. The results of the study are expected to provide a reference for developing a point-to-surface upscaling method based on snow depth ground observations, and to further solve the uncertainties caused by scale effects in snow depth and other land surface parameter inversion and validation, by using remote sensing data.

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