Remote Sens. 2011, 3(8), 1644-1662; doi:10.3390/rs3081644
Article

Evaluation of Sub-Pixel Cloud Noises on MODIS Daily Spectral Indices Based on in situ Measurements

1 Earth Observation Research Center (EORC), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), 2-1-1 Sengen, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8505, Japan 2 Graduate School of Life and Environment Sciences, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8572, Japan 3 Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 3173-25 Showa-machi, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0001, Japan
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2011; in revised form: 12 July 2011 / Accepted: 27 July 2011 / Published: 3 August 2011
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Abstract: Cloud contamination is one of the severest problems for the time-series analysis of optical remote sensing data such as vegetation phenology detection. Sub-pixel clouds are especially difficult to identify and remove. It is important for accuracy improvement in various terrestrial remote sensing applications to clarify the influence of these residual clouds on spectral vegetation indices. This study investigated the noises caused by residual sub-pixel clouds on several frequently-used spectral indices (NDVI, EVI, EVI2, NDWI, and NDII) by using in situ spectral data and sky photographs at the satellite overpass time. We conducted in situ continuous observation at a Japanese deciduous forest for over a year and compared the MODIS spectral indices with the cloud-free in situ spectral indices. Our results revealed that residual sub-pixel clouds potentially contaminated about 40% of the MODIS data after cloud screening by the state flag of MOD09 product. These residual clouds significantly decreased NDVI values during the leaf growing season. However, such noises did not appear in the other indices. This result was thought to be caused by the different combination of wavelengths among spectral indices. Our results suggested that the noises by residual sub-pixel clouds can be reduced by using EVI, NDWI, or NDII in place of NDVI.
Keywords: spectral index; MODIS; Phenological Eyes Network; cloud noise; NDVI; EVI; EVI2; NDWI; NDII

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MDPI and ACS Style

Motohka, T.; Nasahara, K.N.; Murakami, K.; Nagai, S. Evaluation of Sub-Pixel Cloud Noises on MODIS Daily Spectral Indices Based on in situ Measurements. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 1644-1662.

AMA Style

Motohka T, Nasahara KN, Murakami K, Nagai S. Evaluation of Sub-Pixel Cloud Noises on MODIS Daily Spectral Indices Based on in situ Measurements. Remote Sensing. 2011; 3(8):1644-1662.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Motohka, Takeshi; Nasahara, Kenlo Nishida; Murakami, Kazutaka; Nagai, Shin. 2011. "Evaluation of Sub-Pixel Cloud Noises on MODIS Daily Spectral Indices Based on in situ Measurements." Remote Sens. 3, no. 8: 1644-1662.

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