Snow; hyperspectral; soil; coal; contamination; albedo.
Snow is a highly reflecting object found naturally on the Earth and its albedo is highly influenced by the amount and type of contamination. In the present study, two major types of contaminants (soil and coal) have been used to understand their effects on snow reflectance in the Himalayan region. These contaminants were used in two categories quantitatively – addition in large quantity and addition in small quantity. Snow reflectance data were collected between 350 and 2500 nm spectral ranges and binned at 10 nm interval by averaging. The experiment was designed to gather the field information in controlled conditions, and radiometric observations were collected. First derivative, band absorption depth, asymmetry, percentage change in reflectance and albedo in optical region were selected to identify and discriminate the type of contamination. Band absorption depth has shown a subtle increasing pattern for soil contamination, however, it was significant for small amounts of coal contamination. The absorption peak asymmetry was not significant for soil contamination but showed a nature towards left asymmetry for coal. The width of absorption feature at 1025 nm was not significant for both the contaminations. The percentage change in reflectance was quite high for small amount of coal contamination rather than soil contamination, however, a shift of peak was observed in soil-contaminated snow which was not present in coal contamination. The albedo drops exponentially for coal contamination rather than soil contamination.