A global 0.05° maximum albedo dataset of snow-covered land based on MODIS observations

Michael Barlage, Xubin Zeng, Helin Wei, Kenneth E. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


A new global 0.05° maximum albedo for snow-covered land is developed from BRDF/Albedo, reflectance and land cover measured from the MODIS sensor on board the Terra and Aqua satellites. The dataset is similar to previous maximum snow albedo datasets, but is available at higher resolution. The dataset displays: (1) high albedo at very high latitudes with tundra and open shrub land cover; (2) a local minimum (0.35) in zonally-averaged albedo at 56-60°N due to boreal forest cover; and (3) a local maximum (0.70) in zonally-averaged albedo at 42-45°N due to crop and grassland. The dataset is tested in the Noah land model at 0.125° resolution as used in the North American Land Data Assimilation System. Compared with the original data, the new dataset increases the spatial heterogeneity in the Noah model during winter and produces surface energy component differences of 10 W/m2 during the snowmelt period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL17405
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 16 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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