Global | Scientific applications

New Copernicus Near Real-Time products for snow and ice monitoring

Magellium implemented and is operating the High-Resolution Snow and Ice monitoring (HR-S&I) products of Copernicus Land, providing Near Real-Time information and records since September 2016 on snow and ice coverage in Europe.

HR S&I Products
Snow extent in the Pyrenees on 27 Sept. 2020, from the HR-S&I Fractional Snow Cover product. (Credit: © European Union, Copernicus Land Monitoring Service 2021, EEA, S.Gascoin)


Snow cover and lake ice cover have been identified as 2 of the 50 essential climate variables (ECVs), by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), for the strong impact they exert on Earth’s climate. They influence water cycle and surface energy fluxes, representing key parameters in weather and hydrology.

New high-resolutions products

The new products use Sentinel-2 optical data and Sentinel-1 radar data to offer high-resolution information on snow cover and river and lake ice extent for 32 EEA member countries, the United Kingdom, and 6 cooperating countries in the Western Balkans.

The HR-S&I products developed, currently available on WEkEO from Copernicus Land Monitoring service, are:

  • The snow cover extent with the snow cover fraction and its daily cumulative gap-filled version
  • The snow state conditions of this snow cover (wet/dry snow) and the wet snow extent in mountain areas
  • The persistent snow area over the hydrological year
  • The ice cover extent on rivers and lakes (snow-covered or snow-free ice)
  • The percent coverage of ice on lakes and on 10 km river sections.

Snow and Ice applications are time-critical. With the continuous improvement of ESA in Sentinel-2 L1C and Sentinel-1 GRD data release and the direct access of WEkEO to the source of the data, most of the operational HR-S&I products are available between 6 and 12 hours after the observation.

Extract from WEkEO Webinar N.12 — Successful WEkEO Applications and New Business Opportunities
The development and operation of the new products were led by Magellium, an innovative French company specialized in image and instruments data processing and geo-information, under delegation from the European Environmental Agency (EEA), and in collaboration with scientific partners Cesbio, Astri Polska, ENVEO, FMI and Météo-France.

Key features

Near Real-Time data

Most of the new products are available between 6 and 12 hours after the data sensing enabling improved estimations, analysis and modelling.

High resolution products

The new product offers very high spatial resolution from 60x60m and up to 20x20m.

Historical data

Satellite data offer access to long track records, available for analysis since 2016.

Benefits of WEkEO for HR S&I Products

The service was developed and it is operated entirely on WEkEO. WEkEO’s efficient computation and automatic input provision enable near-real-time availability of Sentinel data, crucial for all time-critical downstream applications.

WEkEO benefits also include:

  • Direct link to data providers
  • Avoidance of resources duplication
  • Immediate availability of HR-S&I products for visualization and download
  • Performant cloud capabilities and infrastructure
  • Consistency and sustainability of the platform in the time

Contact us to know more about HR S&I Products.

Discover all use cases

Start using WEkEO to have powerful data access with ready to use Virtual Machines

Start now with our free trial