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Efficient estimation of snow related parameters using Copernicus and in-situ data

Figure 1 - Processing and distribution workflows

Figure 1 - Processing and distribution workflows

The action addresses a theme of high relevance to the European citizens, namely the continuous and accurate monitoring of snow distribution and characteristics. The socio-economic impact of snow is significant, ranging from water management and hydropower, to agriculture, transport, tourism, urbanism and emergency situations management. The action is aiming at providing and demonstrating a pre-operational system capable to deliver more accurate estimates of snow (and, indirectly, water) resources at the catchment level, derived from satellite and in-situ data and associated hydrological models to the Water Management System Units. The overall scope of the project is to develop a service run by Meteo Romania for daily moderate resolution snow related products over Romania based on Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 data that will serve Meteo Romania needs for, weather forecast, extreme meteorological events warnings, hydrological and climatological modeling agriculture, land surface applications.

The Romanian Meteorological Administration has a long experience in the usage of satellite data for the monitoring of hydro-meteorological phenomena's and the development of online services able to process high volumes of satellite. The action will draw on two other complementary activities:

  • In close cooperation with the Romanian Space Agency, Meteo Romania started the implementation of a Sentinel mirror site under the Collaborative Ground Segment initiative.
  • During a recently finished research project (EEA/ SnowBall – “Remote sensing, model and in-situ data fusion for snowpack parameters and related hazards in a climate change perspective”), in cooperation with Norway Computing Center, Meteo Romania developed state of the art algorithms for the retrieval of fractional snow cover from optical satellite imagery and the retrieval of snow wetness from both optical and SAR satellite data.

Necessary pipelines to will be put in place in order connect the above-mentioned capabilities to provide a pre-operational system for satellite-based snow related information production and dissemination.

Figure 1 - Processing and distribution workflows

Meteo Romania will allocate resources to maintain the service operational after the action lifetime. Commercial partnerships with parties interested in receiving custom products are also considered.

Implementation by

  • Meteo Romania (METEORO); Romanian Space Agency (ROSA);
  • End-users (no budget):
    • National Institute for Hydrology and Water Management;
    • “Romanian Waters” National Administration;
    • Ministry of Environment;
    • Hidroelectrica S.A.

Outputs and Results

  • A service that provide daily fractional snow cover maps, based on Sentinel-3 data, for the entire Romanian territory (with both Sentinel-3A and 3B in orbit, daily coverage of any region in Romania is assured);
  • A service that provide snow wetness maps (from September to May), based on Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-3 data, for the entire Romanian territory;
  • Calibrate and validate algorithms and products for Romania using in situ data;
  • Free and open access to the snow maps through OGC standards (WMS & WCS);
  • One day dissemination workshop for the potential users (e.g. National Institute for Hydrology and Water Management);