Summary Results from:

Assessing the coupling between surface albedo derived from MODIS and the fraction of diffuse skylight over spatially-characterized landscapes
As they relate to the validation of MOD43

Authors: Román, M. O., C. B. Schaaf, P. Lewis, F. Gao, G. P. Anderson, J. L. Privette, A. H. Strahler, C. E. Woodcock, M. Barnsley

Source: Remote Sensing of Environment, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2009.11.014,2009

Link to: Access Publication


In this effort, the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (Collection V005) Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF)/Albedo algorithm is used to retrieve instantaneous surface albedo at a point in time and under specific atmospheric conditions. These retrievals are then used to study the role that the fraction of diffuse skylight plays under realistic scenarios of anisotropic diffuse illumination and multiple scattering between the surface and atmosphere. Simulations of the sky radiance using the MODTRAN®5.1 radiative transfer model were performed under different aerosol optical properties, illumination conditions, and surface characteristics to describe these effects on surface albedo retrievals from MODIS. This technique was examined using a validation scheme over four measurement sites with varied aerosol levels and landscapes, ranging from croplands to tundra ecosystems, and over extended time periods. Furthermore, a series of geostatistical analyses were performed to examine the types of spatial patterns observed at each measurement site. In particular, Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) retrievals of surface albedo were acquired to analyze the change in variogram model parameters as a function of increased window-size. Results were then used to assess the degree to which a given point measurement is able to capture the intrinsic variability at the scale of MODIS observations. Assessments of MODIS instantaneous albedos that account for anisotropic multiple scattering, over snow-free and snow-covered lands and at all diurnal solar zenith angles, show a slight improvement over the albedo formulations that treat the downwelling diffuse radiation as isotropic. Comparisons with field measurements show biases improving by 0.004 - 0.013 absolute units (root-mean-squared error) or 0.1% - 2.0% relative error.