Microwave remote sensing of snow and environment

Matias Takala

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Hemispheric snow extent and snow mass are two important parameters affecting the water cycle, carbon cycle and the radiation balance in particular at the high latitudes. In this dissertation these topics have been investigated focusing on the mapping of snow clearance day (melt-off day) and Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) by applying spaceborne microwave radiometer instruments. New algorithms have been developed and existing ones have been further advanced. Specific attention has been paid to estimate snow in boreal forests. This work has resulted in Climate Data Records (CDRs) of snow clearance day and daily values of SWE. Data are available for the entire Northern Hemisphere covering more than three decades. The developed CDRs are relevant for climate research, for example concerning the modeling of Earth System processes. CDR on snow clearance day can be used to map the CO2 balance between the biosphere and atmosphere in the case of boreal forests, which is demonstrated in the thesis. Further, methodologies to assess snow mass in terms of SWE for hemispherical and regional scales have been developed. The developed methodologies have also resulted in the establishment of new Near-Real-Time (NRT) satellite data services for hydrological end-use. In hydrology SWE data are used to enhance the performance of river discharge forecasts, which is highly important for hydropower industry and flood prevention activities.
Translated title of the contributionLumen ja ympäristön mikroaaltokaukokartoitus
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Praks, Jaan, Supervising Professor
  • Pulliainen, Jouni, Thesis Advisor, External person
Print ISBNs978-952-60-8305-6
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-8306-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • snowmelt
  • hemisphere
  • estimating techniques


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