Articles | Volume 18, issue 2
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 763–774, 2014
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 763–774, 2014

Research article 24 Feb 2014

Research article | 24 Feb 2014

Validation of the operational MSG-SEVIRI snow cover product over Austria

S. Surer1, J. Parajka2,*, and Z. Akyurek3 S. Surer et al.
  • 1Geodetic and Geographic Information Technologies, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
  • 2Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
  • 3Civil Eng. Dept., Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey
  • *on leave from: Institute of Hydrology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Liptovský Mikuláš, Slovakia

Abstract. The objective of this study is to evaluate the mapping accuracy of the MSG-SEVIRI operational snow cover product over Austria. The SEVIRI instrument is aboard the geostationary Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite. The snow cover product provides 32 images per day, with a relatively low spatial resolution of 5 km over Austria. The mapping accuracy is examined at 178 stations with daily snow depth observations and compared with the daily MODIS-combined (Terra + Aqua) snow cover product for the period April 2008–June 2012.

The results show that the 15 min temporal sampling allows a significant reduction of clouds in the snow cover product. The mean annual cloud coverage is less than 30% in Austria, as compared to 52% for the combined MODIS product. The mapping accuracy for cloud-free days is 89% as compared to 94% for MODIS. The largest mapping errors are found in regions with large topographical variability. The errors are noticeably larger at stations with elevations that differ greatly from those of the mean MSG-SEVIRI pixel elevations. The median of mapping accuracy for stations with absolute elevation difference less than 50 m and more than 500 m is 98.9 and 78.2%, respectively. A comparison between the MSG-SEVIRI and MODIS products indicates an 83% overall agreement. The largest disagreements are found in Alpine valleys and flatland areas in the spring and winter months, respectively.