Articles | Volume 24, issue 1
07 Mar 2006
 | 07 Mar 2006

Measurements of spectral snow albedo at Neumayer, Antarctica

S. Wuttke, G. Seckmeyer, and G. König-Langlo

Abstract. Spectral albedo in high resolution, from 290 to 1050 nm, has been measured at Neumayer, Antarctica, (70°39' S, 8°15' W) during the austral summer 2003/2004. At 500 nm, the spectral albedo nearly reaches unity, with slightly lower values below and above 500 nm. Above 600 nm, the spectral albedo decreases to values between 0.45 and 0.75 at 1000 nm. For one cloudless case an albedo up to 1.01 at 500 nm could be determined. This can be explained by the larger directional component of the snow reflectivity for direct incidence, combined with a slightly mislevelled sensor and the snow surface not being perfectly horizontal. A possible explanation for an observed decline in albedo is an increase in snow grain size. The theoretically predicted increase in albedo with increasing solar zenith angle (SZA) could not be observed. This is explained by the small range of SZA during albedo measurements, combined with the effect of changing snow conditions outweighing the effect of changing SZA. The measured spectral albedo serves as input for radiative transfer models, describing radiation conditions in Antarctica.