Snow particles extracted from X-ray computed microtomography imagery and their single-scattering properties

Hiroshi Ishimoto, Satoru Adachi, Satoru Yamaguchi, Tomonori Tanikawa, Teruo Aoki, Kazuhiko Masuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Sizes and shapes of snow particles were determined from X-ray computed microtomography (micro-CT) images, and their single-scattering properties were calculated at visible and near-infrared wavelengths using a Geometrical Optics Method (GOM). We analyzed seven snow samples including fresh and aged artificial snow and natural snow obtained from field samples. Individual snow particles were numerically extracted, and the shape of each snow particle was defined by applying a rendering method. The size distribution and specific surface area distribution were estimated from the geometrical properties of the snow particles, and an effective particle radius was derived for each snow sample. The GOM calculations at wavelengths of 0.532 and 1.242 µm revealed that the realistic snow particles had similar scattering phase functions as those of previously modeled irregular shaped particles. Furthermore, distinct dendritic particles had a characteristic scattering phase function and asymmetry factor. The single-scattering properties of particles of effective radius reff were compared with the size-averaged single-scattering properties. We found that the particles of reff could be used as representative particles for calculating the average single-scattering properties of the snow. Furthermore, the single-scattering properties of the micro-CT particles were compared to those of particle shape models using our current snow retrieval algorithm. For the single-scattering phase function, the results of the micro-CT particles were consistent with those of a conceptual two-shape model. However, the particle size dependence differed for the single-scattering albedo and asymmetry factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-128
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Spectroscopy


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