Snow Monitoring

Snow has a large impact on water resource management, agriculture and vegetation, flood forecasting, hydropower production and the daily life of the residents. Knowledge about snow extent, its dynamics and the water it holds are important information for a large number of local, regional and international stakeholders and scientists.

Polar View’s service providers serve needs for the latest information on snow cover and the amount of water stored as snow by monitoring and modeling activities.

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Activities

Polar View as an international consortium is in the position to provide regional, national and continental services and data and to integrate the products in services for different sectors. In close collaboration with users, a number of regional services are offered, focusing on the specific conditions and requirements. As part of the international snow science community Polar View members are involved in the present international science and service activities in Europe and North America.

Snow information and maps are derived from SAR (e.g. SENTINEL-1) and optical satellites.

Selected Regional Services

Central Europe and Alps

The lower mountainous regions in Central Europe are characterized by the frequent temperature changes causing the snow pack to accumulate and melt off several times each winter season.

Rainfall combined with snowmelt is the most critical situation for the origin of floods. Within the Alps the snow is clearly of large interest, not only for hydrology. Remote sensing provides the desired spatial characterizations of snow properties for the users, e.g. to control and update hydrological models.

The Baltic Region and Scandinavia

The lowlands in Northern Europe and in the Baltic Sea drainage basin are characterized by several accumulations and melting periods until a permanent seasonal snow cover appears. In spring, the melting process may cause rapid changes on water storages, which leads to flooding. The boreal zone and the mountain areas of Sweden and Norway are characterized by a thick seasonal snow pack.

The Polar View Snow Service Portal is able to integrate regional products to cover a much larger area to fulfill the needs of a larger and international user group.