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Abstract

Snow albedo is an important climate parameter as it governs the amount of solar energy absorbed by the snow and can be considered a major contributor to the surface radiation budget. The present study deals with the estimation of temporal variation of snow albedo at the upper elevation zone of glaciated Mago Basin of Arunachal Pradesh in eastern Himalaya. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Daily Snow Products (MOD10A1 and MYD10A1) at 500 m spatial resolution were used. Both the MODIS data for ten years (2003–13) and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER) digital elevation model (DEM) of the study area were downloaded from NASA DAAC of NSIDC. The percentage area under different snow types (dry snow, wet snow, firn and ice) was determined by masking the upper elevation zone of the DEM into the albedo images. The average monthly slopes show a decreasing trend in area (%) of dry snow and wet snow and an increasing trend for firn and ice. Dry snow and wet snow cover percentages were observed to be decreasing, whereas firn and ice cover showed an increasing trend for most of the months. Firn dominated the type of snow, followed by ice then wet snow; the smallest area (%) was that of dry snow for the study period.

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