Remote Sensing of Snow and Ice: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Remote Sensing of Snow and Ice

1st Edition

By W. Gareth Rees

CRC Press

312 pages | 16 Color Illus. | 136 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415298315
pub: 2005-08-12

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Many advances in spaceborne instrumentation, remote sensing, and data analysis have occurred in recent years, but until now there has been no book that reflects these advances while delivering a uniform treatment of the remote sensing of frozen regions. Remote Sensing of Snow and Ice identifies unifying themes and ideas in these fields and presents them in a single volume.

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the remote sensing of the Earth’s cryosphere. Explaining why cryospheric observations are important and why remote sensing observations are essential, it offers thorough surveys of the physical properties of ice and snow, and of current and emerging remote sensing techniques.

Presenting a technical review of how the properties of snow and ice relate to remote sensing observations, the book focuses on principles by which useful geophysical information becomes encoded into the electromagnetic radiation detected during the remote sensing process. The author then discusses in detail the application of remote sensing methods to snow, freshwater ice, glaciers, and icebergs. The book concludes with a summary that examines what remote sensing has revealed about the cryosphere, where major technical problems still exist, and how these problems can be addressed.


“This book is an excellent summary of the remote sensing techniques appropriate to snow – and ice – covered regions, image-processing techniques useful for handling these data, and physical properties of snow and ice relevant to remote sensing. It is aimed at a post-graduate level, but could be used in an undergraduate course. … although the book is specifically aimed at remote sensing of the cryosphere, it provides a good summary of the basic principles that are appropriate for all remote sensing. It is a book that would be a useful addition to the bookshelf of anyone working on the cryosphere, providing as it does an introduction to most remote sensing techniques currently in use. Because it is strongly physics based, it is likely to provide at least a roadmap for understanding future methods. The content of the book provides good coverage of techniques in use for studying snow and ice. … the book provides an excellent general background to the remote sensing techniques described, equipping the reader to understand new sensors as they become available. …”

— In Cambridge Journal, Page 82, 2007

“His approach is to introduce both why remote sensing is important for understanding the cryosphere, and to give up-to-date coverage of the techniques for remote sensing analysis. … Overall, the presentation in this book is both technical and accessible, and includes sufficient detail for a motivated newcomer to get into the field. The information is accurate and the author is very open about other sources for more detail. … there is a reasonable variety of detailed to global examples, and both polar and temperate environments. Data and techniques are appropriately illustrated. The book is well written and well organized. … This is a worthy contribution to the fields of remote sensing and cryosphere science.”

— Joan M. Ramage, Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, in PE&RS, Vol. 73, No. 1, January 2007

“… the book is very well structured. It covers introductory review chapters on the cryosphere, remote sensing, and image processing techniques. … The book provides an extensive bibliography and a good index. … Overall, the book gives an excellent introduction into the remote sensing of snow and ice. Its publication is timely since especially in the last decade old techniques have been refined an various new techniques have been established. ”

—Rudiger Gens, University of Alaska Fairbanks, in ISPRS Highlights, October 2006

Table of Contents

The Cryosphere

Remote Sensing Systems for Observation of the Earth’s Surface

Image Processing Techniques

Physical Properties of Snow and Ice

Remote Sensing of Snow Cover

Remote Sensing of Sea Ice

Remote Sensing of Freshwater Ice

Remote Sensing of Glaciers, Ice Sheets and Ice Shelves

Remote Sensing of Icebergs


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Systems