Summary Results from:

Improving the MODIS LAI compositing using prior time-series information
As they relate to the validation of MOD15

Authors: Pu, J., Yan, K., Gao, S., Zhang, Y., Park, T., Sun, X., Weiss, M., Knyazikhin, Y., Myneni, R.

Source: Remote Sensing of Environment

Link to: Access Publication


The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) long-term leaf area index (LAI) products have significantly contributed to global energy fluxes, climate change, and biogeochemistry research. However, the maximum fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation (Max-FPAR) compositing strategy of the Collection 6 (C6) products dictates that the main or backup algorithm is always triggered by observations of different quality, which indirectly causes the observed instability in the LAI time-series. Based on MODIS daily LAI retrievals, this study develops a prior knowledge time-series compositing algorithm (PKA) using a linear kernel driven (LKD) model. Our results show that the newly proposed PKA can significantly improve the LAI composites compared to the Max-FPAR strategy using ground-based observations for validation. We found that the PKA performs better than Max-FPAR in various aspects (different sites, seasons, and retrieval index (RI) ranges), with R2 increasing from 0.69 to 0.76 and root means square error (RMSE) decreasing from 1.01 to 0.84 compared to GBOV ground truth. The same improvement was shown for the ground truth LAIs measured at the Honghe and Hailun sites in northeastern China, with R2increasing from 0.23 to 0.41 and RMSE decreasing from 1.27 to 1.25. In addition, three newly proposed temporal uncertainty metrics (time-series stability, TSS and time-series anomaly, TSA and reconstruction error metric, RE (the proximity to the main RT-based retrievals)) were applied to compare the stability of LAI time-series before and after PKA implementation. We found that the time series stability of PKA LAI was improved, the time series anomalies were reduced, and the retrieval rates of the main algorithm were also greatly enhanced compared to Max-FPAR LAI. A case intercomparison for Max-FPAR-MODIS, Max-FPAR-VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite), and PKA-MODIS LAIs in the Amazon Forest region showed that the PKA is also effective in improving the LAI retrieval over large regions with few qualified observations due to poor atmospheric conditions (RE decreased from 2.37/2.35 (Max-FPAR-MODIS/Max-FPAR-VIIRS) to 2.25 (PKA-MODIS) and RI increased from 61.94%/59.62% to 66.88%). The same improvement was seen in the BELMANIP 2.1 sites for almost all biomes except deciduous broadleaf forest, where the RE decreased from 1.85/2.13 to 1.15 overall. We note that the PKA has the potential to be easily implemented in the operational algorithms of subsequent MODIS and MODIS-like LAI Collections.