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Journal of Arid Land  2015, Vol. 7 Issue (3): 285-295    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0044-x
Research Articles     
Uncertainties of snow cover extraction caused by the nature of topography and underlying surface
Jun ZHAO*, YinFang SHI, YongSheng HUANG, JieWen FU
College of Geography and Environment Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
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Abstract  Manas River, the largest inland river to the north of the Tianshan Mountains, provides important water resources for human production and living. The seasonal snow cover and snowmelt play essential roles in the regulation of spring runoff in the Manas River Basin (MRB). Snow cover is one of the most significant input parameters for obtaining accurate simulations and predictions of spring runoff. Therefore, it is especially important to extract snow-covered area correctly in the MRB. In this study, we qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed the uncertainties of snow cover extraction caused by the terrain factors and land cover types using TM and DEM data, along with the Per (the ratio of the difference between snow-covered area extracted by the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI) method and visual interpretation method to the actual snow-covered area) and roughness. The results indicated that the difference of snow-covered area extracted by the two methods was primarily reflected in the snow boundary and shadowy areas. The value of Per varied significantly in different elevation zones. That is, the value generally pre-sented a normal distribution with the increase of elevation. The peak value of Per occurred in the elevation zone of 3,700–4,200 m. Aspects caused the uncertainties of snow cover extraction with the order of sunny slope>semi-shady and semi-sunny slope>shady slope, due to the differences in solar radiation received by each aspect. Regarding the influences of various land cover types on snow cover extraction in the study area, bare rock was more influential on snow cover extraction than grassland. Moreover, shrub had the weakest impact on snow cover extraction.

Key wordsC3 plant      C4 plant      facilitation relationship      root traits      specific root length     
Received: 02 May 2014      Published: 05 February 2015

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foun-dation of China (91025001) and the Key Project of the National Science and Technology (E0405/1112/05).

Cite this article:

Jun ZHAO, YinFang SHI, YongSheng HUANG, JieWen FU. Uncertainties of snow cover extraction caused by the nature of topography and underlying surface. Journal of Arid Land, 2015, 7(3): 285-295.

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