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Snow Monitoring using Automatic Camera Systems at Svalbard key sites (SMACS)

On Svalbard, the long-lasting snow cover and the timing of the snowmelt is a crucial factor in the yearly cycle of all land ecosystems. SMACS will explore monitoring of the snow cover and snow melt from the point to a scale of several square kilometers at the Svalbard key research locations Ny-??lesund and Hornsund. For this purpose, automatic came

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Project date

Starts
2014-03-01

Ends
2015-05-30

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Project type

  • remote sensing
  • long-term monitoring

Discipline

  • cryosphere

Project Keywords

  • cryosphere / snow/ice / snow melt
  • cryosphere / frozen ground / permafrost
  • cryosphere / snow/ice / snow cover
  • cryosphere / sea ice / snow depth
  • biosphere / vegetation / vegetation cover

Fieldwork information

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Summary

On Svalbard, the long-lasting snow cover and the timing of the snowmelt is a crucial factor in the yearly cycle of all land ecosystems. SMACS will explore monitoring of the snow cover and snow melt from the point to a scale of several square kilometers at the Svalbard key research locations Ny-??lesund and Hornsund. For this purpose, automatic camera systems will be set up on elevated structures, such as the new CCT tower in Ny-??lesund, and on mountain tops overlooking key research areas which will allow monitoring the snow distribution and snowmelt patterns at different scales. SMACS will develop and operationalize evaluation procedures for the images and deliver two products which will be made freely available: (i) orthorectified images of the Bayelva and Fuglebekken catchments, and (ii) time series of the evolution of the snow-free area within regions of interest, e.g. the footprint of the atmospheric measurements at the CCT tower. By improving coordination among existing field installations and making new snow melt products available to the entire scientific community, SMACS will contribute to the SSFs strategic objectives, as well as to at least two of the Ny-??lesund flagship programmes. SMACS has identified first users of the new products as well as contact points to other Arctic observatories, who will be consulted in the planning process. The project thus presents excellent opportunities to establish a new important baseline data set beneficial to a wide research community.

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