MEMLS3&a: Microwave Emission Model of Layered Snowpacks adapted to include backscattering

Proksch, M.; Mätzler, Christian; Wiesmann, A.; Lemmetyinen, J.; Schwank, M.; Löwe, H.; Schneebeli, M. (2015). MEMLS3&a: Microwave Emission Model of Layered Snowpacks adapted to include backscattering. Geoscientific model development (GMD), 8(8), pp. 2611-2626. Copernicus Publications 10.5194/gmd-8-2611-2015

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The Microwave Emission Model of Layered Snowpacks (MEMLS) was originally developed for microwave emissions of snowpacks in the frequency range 5–100 GHz. It is based on six-flux theory to describe radiative transfer in snow including absorption, multiple volume scattering, radiation trapping due to internal reflection and a combination of coherent and incoherent superposition of reflections between horizontal layer interfaces. Here we introduce MEMLS3&a, an extension of MEMLS, which includes a backscatter model for active microwave remote sensing of snow. The reflectivity is decomposed into diffuse and specular components. Slight undulations of the snow surface are taken into account. The treatment of like- and cross-polarization is accomplished by an empirical splitting parameter q. MEMLS3&a (as well as MEMLS) is set up in a way that snow input parameters can be derived by objective measurement methods which avoid fitting procedures of the scattering efficiency of snow, required by several other models. For the validation of the model we have used a combination of active and passive measurements from the NoSREx (Nordic Snow Radar Experiment) campaign in Sodankylä, Finland. We find a reasonable agreement between the measurements and simulations, subject to uncertainties in hitherto unmeasured input parameters of the backscatter model. The model is written in Matlab and the code is publicly available for download through the following website:

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Applied Physics > Lasers

UniBE Contributor:

Mätzler, Christian


500 Science
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Copernicus Publications




Martin Frenz-Lips

Date Deposited:

15 Jan 2016 15:26

Last Modified:

15 Mar 2023 06:54

Publisher DOI:





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