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Method to determine snow albedo values in the ultraviolet for radiative transfer modeling



Applied optics 38 (1999), Nr.18, S.3869-3875 : Ill.,Lit.
ISSN: 0003-6935
ISSN: 1539-4522
ISSN: 1559-128X
Fraunhofer IFU; 2002 in Helmholtz-Gesellschaft integriert

For many cases modeled and measured UV global irradiances agree to within +/-5% for cloudless conditions, provided that all relevant parameters for describing the atmosphere and the surface are well known. However, for conditions with snow-covered surfaces this agreement is usually not achievable, because on the one hand the regional albedo, which has to be used in a model, is only rarely available and on the other hand UV irradiance alters with different snow cover of the surface by as much as 50%. Therefore a method is given to determine the regional albedo values for conditions with snow cover by use of a parameterization on the basis of snow depth and snow age, routinely monitored by the weather services. An algorithm is evolved by multiple linear regression between the snow data and snow-aIbedo values in the UV, which are determined from a best fit of modeled and measured UV irradiances for an alpine site in Europe. The resulting regional albedo values in the case of snow are in the 0.18-0.5 range. Since the constants of the regression depend on the area conditions, they have to be adapted if the method is applied for other sites. Using the algorithm for actual cases with different snow conditions improves the accuracy of modeled UV irradiances considerably. Compared with the use of an average, constant snow albedo, the use of actual albedo values, provided by the algorithm, halves the average deviations between measured and modeled UV global irradiances.