NSIDC NOTES  -  Issue No. 50 WINTER 2005


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NASA CLPX Data Now Available

Data from the 2002 and 2003 field campaigns of the NASA Cold Land Processes Experiment (CLPX) are now available to the public. These data include ground, airborne, and satellite observations of snow properties in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. The data include satellite passive microwave and radar measurements, airborne scatterometer and radiometer data; ground-based radar, meteorology, energetics, and snow depth measurements; and land surface models. A total of 31 data sets, with accompanying documentation and metadata, are currently available. Additional data sets are expected.

The NASA Cold Land Processes Experiment is a multi-sensor, multi-scale field program of nested study areas in Colorado and Wyoming, USA, designed to develop new remote sensing methods for measuring snowpack properties such as snow water equivalent, grain size, and snow extent. The experiment uses ground observations and airborne and space-borne remote sensing data, along with land surface models, to improve forecasts of springtime water supplies, snowmelt, runoff, and regional weather and climate trends.

The first two CLPX field campaigns were conducted in February and March of 2002 and 2003. These campaigns covered two seasons: mid-winter, when conditions are generally frozen and dry, and early spring, a transitional period when both frozen and thawed, and dry and wet conditions are widespread. The study areas ranged from low-relief (flat topography) unforested areas with shallow snow cover to high-relief (complex topography) densely forested areas with deep snow cover. They varied in size from thousands of square kilometers down to 1 km2 intensive study areas and a 1 ha local-scale observation area.

Researchers and field assistants from NSIDC took part in both CLPX campaigns. NSIDC also serves as the data manager and the data archive for most of the CLPX data. NSIDC data managers were in the field with researchers, transcribing and documenting data and identifying data collection issues that could be resolved in the field.

A future CLPX campaign is planned for 2006 in Alaska.