Effect of small-scale snow surface roughness on snow albedo and reflectance

Terhikki Manninen*, Kati Anttila, Emmihenna Jääskeläinen, Aku Riihelä, Jouni Peltoniemi, Petri Räisänen, Panu Lahtinen, Niilo Siljamo, Laura Thölix, Outi Meinander, Anna Kontu, Hanne Suokanerva, Roberta Pirazzini, Juha Suomalainen, Teemu Hakala, Sanna Kaasalainen, Harri Kaartinen, Antero Kukko, Olivier Hautecoeur, Jean Louis Roujean

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


The primary goal of this paper is to present a model of snow surface albedo accounting for small-scale surface roughness effects. The model is based on photon recollision probability, and it can be combined with existing bulk volume albedo models, such as Two-streAm Radiative TransfEr in Snow (TARTES). The model is fed with in situ measurements of surface roughness from plate profile and laser scanner data, and it is evaluated by comparing the computed albedos with observations. It provides closer results to empirical values than volume-scattering-based albedo simulations alone. The impact of surface roughness on albedo increases with the progress of the melting season and is larger for larger solar zenith angles. In absolute terms, small-scale surface roughness can decrease the total albedo by up to about 0.1. As regards the bidirectional reflectance factor (BRF), it is found that surface roughness increases backward scattering especially for large solar zenith angle values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-820
Number of pages28
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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