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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(10), 1045; doi:10.3390/rs9101045

Spatiotemporal Variation of Snow Cover in Tianshan Mountains, Central Asia, Based on Cloud-Free MODIS Fractional Snow Cover Product, 2001–2015

1
National-Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Geo-Spatial Information Technology, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
2
Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing of Gansu Province, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2017 / Revised: 25 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Snow Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

The change in snow cover under climate change is poorly understood in Tianshan Mountains. Here, we investigate the spatiotemporal characteristics and trends of snow-covered area (SCA) and snow-covered days (SCD) in the Tianshan Mountains by using the cloud-removed MODIS fractional snow cover datasets from 2001–2015. The possible linkage between the snow cover and temperature and precipitation changes over the Tianshan Mountains is also investigated. The results are as follows: (1) The distribution of snow cover over the Tianshan Mountains exhibits a large spatiotemporal heterogeneity. The areas with SCD greater than 120 days are distributed in the principal mountains with elevations of above 3000 m. (2) In total, 26.39% (5.09% with a significant decline) and 34.26% (2.81% with a significant increase) of the study area show declining and increasing trend in SCD, respectively. The SCD mainly decreases in Central and Eastern Tianshan (decreased by 11.88% and 8.03%, respectively), while it increases in Northern and Western Tianshan (increased by 9.36% and 7.47%). (3) The snow cover variations are linked to the temperature and precipitation changes. Temperature tends to be the major factor effecting the snow cover changes in the Tianshan Mountains during 2001–2015. View Full-Text
Keywords: snow cover variations; MODIS; snow covered area; snow covered days; climate change; Tianshan Mountains snow cover variations; MODIS; snow covered area; snow covered days; climate change; Tianshan Mountains
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Tang, Z.; Wang, X.; Wang, J.; Wang, X.; Li, H.; Jiang, Z. Spatiotemporal Variation of Snow Cover in Tianshan Mountains, Central Asia, Based on Cloud-Free MODIS Fractional Snow Cover Product, 2001–2015. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 1045.

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