CR 59:15-26 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01206

MODIS-observed spatial and temporal variation in snow cover in Xinjiang, China

Chang-Qing Ke*, Xun Liu

Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Nanjing University, No. 163 Xianlin Avenue, Nanjing 210046, China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Temporal and spatial variations in snow cover have a major impact on hydrological resources and the ecological environment in Xinjiang. In this study, we used the MOD10A2 dataset for the period from July 2000 to June 2012, and eliminated cloud cover by combining MOD10A2 with MYD10A2 to analyze the spatial and temporal distribution and variation in snow cover in Xinjiang. The results indicate a distinct periodicity of the seasonal variation in snow area. Snow area reached a maximum in late January and a minimum in mid-August. Snow cover distribution differed based on elevation and exhibited a single peak distribution at elevations below 4000 m. At elevations between 4000 m and 5000 m, there was a long-term stable period of snow cover, and snow areas at elevations above 5000 m were relatively large in the spring and fall. In winter, snow cover frequency was relatively high in the Irtysh River catchment in northern Xinjiang, whereas there was little snow cover in southern Xinjiang. The snow area exhibited a slightly increasing trend over the 12 yr period, but exhibited a decreasing trend in winter at elevations above 4000 m and below 2000 m. The snow cover frequency also generally remained stable, but exhibited a distinctly increasing trend in the inner Tianshan Mountains and a clearly decreasing trend around Yiwu County. The snow cover frequency exhibited a negative correlation with temperature in November and March, and a significant positive correlation with precipitation during the stable period of snow cover.


KEY WORDS: MODIS · MOD10A2 · Snow area · Spatio-temporal variations · Trend · Snow cover frequency · Xinjiang


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Cite this article as: Ke CQ, Liu X (2014) MODIS-observed spatial and temporal variation in snow cover in Xinjiang, China. Clim Res 59:15-26. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01206

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