Challenges in remote sensing of snow-vegetation interaction

Assoc. Prof. Noah Molotch vom Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder spricht am Di. 11.05.2021 16:30 im Rahmen der Vortragsreihe GeographieDiskurse über die Herausforderung der Fernerkundung im Themenbereich Schnee-Vegetationsinteraktion.


Interactions between snow and vegetation directly influence Earth’s water, energy, and carbon cycles. Combinations of in-situ measurements and remotely sensed forest greenness information have been used to identify elevation-dependent tipping points in which forests shift from water to energy limitation. Recent works have shown that statistically significant relationships exist between winter snow accumulation and summer forest greenness. Through this relational approach one can identify the elevation where forests shift from water limitation (lower elevations) to energy limitation (higher elevations). This work has important implications for the forest vulnerability to wildfire and insect-related forest mortality. For example, relationships between snow accumulation and forest greenness have been used to reveal spatio-temporal variability in onset of, and recovery from insect and drought-related forest mortality. While recent works that link snowpack-water availability to forest productivity using optical satellite observations, significant limitations exist in measuring snow mass and biomass from optical systems. Promising observations from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), thermal infrared sensors, and microwave systems are enabling a more mechanistic approach than the aforementioned studies. Hence, a future challenge in snow-vegetation
interactions regards the merging of historical data with emerging technologies.

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