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Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer

Tibetan Plateau Snow Cover, 6 March 2002

This image pair shows a true-color reflectance composite of bands 1, 4, and 3 (left) and a snow extent image (right) over the northwestern Tibetan Plateau, following a snow storm on 6 March 2002. The true color image is derived from Level-1B calibrated radiances, available from the MODIS Characterization Support Team (MCST): Level-1B Product Information and Status Web site. The snow extent image is derived from the MODIS/Terra Snow Cover 5-Min L2 Swath 500m, Version 4 data set, available from NSIDC. The MODIS snow mapping algorithm is based on the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI), which distinguishes between clouds and snow and ice. The NDSI measures the difference between visible and shortwave infrared reflectances of snow. MODIS snow products at 500 m resolution are useful for scientists studying snow extent in the Tibetan Plateau where ground observations of snow are limited. The snow extent image also depicts several areas of mislabeled clouds, demonstrating a problem that is currently being investigated.

The following file is the source file used to create these images:

Tibetan Plateau visible image, 6 March 2002 Tibetan Plateau snow cover, 6 March 2002
Snow cover legend