Remote Sens.2014, 6(11), 10306-10334; doi:10.3390/rs61110306 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The increasing competition for water resources requires a better understanding of flows, fluxes, stocks, and the services and benefits related to water consumption. This paper explains how public domain Earth Observation data based on Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Second Generation Meteosat (MSG), Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) and various altimeter measurements can be used to estimate net water production (rainfall (P) > evapotranspiration (ET)) and net water consumption (ET > P) of Nile Basin agro-ecosystems. Rainfall data from TRMM and the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS-NET) RainFall Estimates (RFE) products were used in conjunction with actual evapotranspiration from the Operational Simplified Surface Energy Balance (SSEBop) and ETLook models. Water flows laterally between net water production and net water consumption areas as a result of runoff and withdrawals. This lateral flow between the 15 sub-basins of the Nile was estimated, and partitioned into stream flow and non-stream flow using the discharge data. A series of essential water metrics necessary for successful integrated water management are explained and computed. Net water withdrawal estimates (natural and humanly instigated) were assumed to be the difference between net rainfall (Pnet) and actual evapotranspiration (ET) and some first estimates of withdrawals—without flow meters—are provided. Groundwater-dependent ecosystems withdraw large volumes of groundwater, which exceed water withdrawals for the irrigation sector. There is a strong need for the development of more open-access Earth Observation databases, especially for information related to actual ET. The fluxes, flows and storage changes presented form the basis for a global framework to describe monthly and annual water accounts in ungauged river basins.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(11), 10286-10305; doi:10.3390/rs61110286 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat-8 represents a generational change from heritage Landsat instruments in its design, while it maintains data continuity with the 40+ year Landsat data archive. It preserves the 30-m ground sample distance, 185-km swath width and VIS/NIR/SWIR spectral bands. Furthermore, data continuity resulted from extensive pre-launch and on-orbit calibration and characterization campaigns. This paper presents an overview of the OLI design, the pre-launch characterization results and the on-orbit performance.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(11), 10252-10285; doi:10.3390/rs61110252 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper describes a novel, simple and efficient approach to estimate forest height over a wide region utilizing spaceborne repeat-pass InSAR correlation magnitude data at L-band. We start from a semi-empirical modification of the RVoG model that characterizes repeat-pass InSAR correlation with large temporal baselines (e.g., 46 days for ALOS) by taking account of the temporal change effect of dielectric fluctuation and random motion of scatterers. By assuming (1) the temporal change parameters and forest backscatter profile/extinction coefficient follow some mean behavior across each inteferogram; (2) there is minimal ground scattering contribution for HV-polarization; and (3) the vertical wavenumber is small, a simplified inversion approach is developed to link the observed HV-polarized InSAR correlation magnitude to forest height and validated using ALOS/PALSAR repeat-pass observations against LVIS lidar heights over the Howland Research Forest in central Maine, US (with RMSE < 4 m at a resolution of 32 hectares). The model parameters derived from this supervised regression are used as the basis for propagating the estimates of forest height to available interferometric pairs for the entire state of Maine, thus creating a state-mosaic map of forest height. The present approach described here serves as an alternative and complementary tool for other PolInSAR inversion techniques when full-polarization data may not be available. This work is also meant to be an observational prototype for NASA’s DESDynI-R (now called NISAR) and JAXA’s ALOS-2 satellite missions.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(10), 10232-10251; doi:10.3390/rs61010232 - published 23 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Abstract: This paper discusses the pre-launch spectral characterization of the Operational Land Imager (OLI) at the component, assembly and instrument levels and relates results of those measurements to artifacts observed in the on-orbit imagery. It concludes that the types of artifacts observed and their magnitudes are consistent with the results of the pre-launch characterizations. The OLI in-band response was characterized both at the integrated instrument level for a sampling of detectors and by an analytical stack-up of component measurements. The out-of-band response was characterized using a combination of Focal Plane Module (FPM) level measurements and optical component level measurements due to better sensitivity. One of the challenges of a pushbroom design is to match the spectral responses for all detectors so that images can be flat-fielded regardless of the spectral nature of the targets in the imagery. Spectral variability can induce striping (detector-to-detector variation), banding (FPM-to-FPM variation) and other artifacts in the final data products. Analyses of the measured spectral response showed that the maximum discontinuity between FPMs due to spectral filter differences is 0.35% for selected targets for all bands except for Cirrus, where there is almost no signal. The average discontinuity between FPMs is 0.12% for the same targets. These results were expected and are in accordance with the OLI requirements. Pre-launch testing identified low levels (within requirements) of spectral crosstalk amongst the three HgCdTe (Cirrus, SWIR1 and SWIR2) bands of the OLI and on-orbit data confirms this crosstalk in the imagery. Further post-launch analyses and simulations revealed that the strongest crosstalk effect is from the SWIR1 band to the Cirrus band; about 0.2% of SWIR1 signal leaks into the Cirrus. Though the total crosstalk signal is only a few counts, it is evident in some scenes when the in-band cirrus signal is very weak. In moist cirrus-free atmospheres and over typical land surfaces, at least 30% of the cirrus signal was due to the SWIR1 band. In the SWIR1 and SWIR2 bands, crosstalk accounts for no more than 0.15% of the total signal.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(10), 10215-10231; doi:10.3390/rs61010215 - published 23 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Accurate quantification of gross primary production (GPP) at regional and global scales is essential for carbon budgets and climate change studies. Five models, the vegetation photosynthesis model (VPM), the temperature and greenness model (TG), the alpine vegetation model (AVM), the greenness and radiation model (GR), and the MOD17 algorithm, were tested and calibrated at eight sites in China during 2003–2005. Results indicate that the first four models provide more reliable GPP estimation than MOD17 products/algorithm, although MODIS GPP products show better performance in grasslands, croplands, and mixed forest (MF). VPM and AVM produce better estimates in forest sites (R2 = 0.68 and 0.67, respectively); AVM and TG models show satisfactory GPP estimates for grasslands (R2 = 0.91 and 0.9, respectively). In general, the VPM model is the most suitable model for GPP estimation for all kinds of land cover types in China, with R2 higher than 0.34 and root mean square error (RMSE) lower than 48.79%. The relationships between eddy CO2 flux and model parameters (Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), land surface temperature (LST), air temperature, and Land Surface Water Index (LSWI)) are further analyzed to investigate the model’s application to various land cover types, which will be of great importance for studying the effects of climatic factors on ecosystem performances.
Remote Sens.2014, 6(10), 10193-10214; doi:10.3390/rs61010193 - published 23 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Crop yield forecasting plays a vital role in coping with the challenges of the impacts of climate change on agriculture. Improvements in the timeliness and accuracy of yield forecasting by incorporating near real-time remote sensing data and the use of sophisticated statistical methods can improve our capacity to respond effectively to these challenges. The objectives of this study were (i) to investigate the use of derived vegetation indices for the yield forecasting of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) from the Moderate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) at the ecodistrict scale across Western Canada with the Integrated Canadian Crop Yield Forecaster (ICCYF); and (ii) to compare the ICCYF-model based forecasts and their accuracy across two spatial scales-the ecodistrict and Census Agricultural Region (CAR), namely in CAR with previously reported ICCYF weak performance. Ecodistricts are areas with distinct climate, soil, landscape and ecological aspects, whereas CARs are census-based/statistically-delineated areas. Agroclimate variables combined respectively with MODIS-NDVI and MODIS-EVI indices were used as inputs for the in-season yield forecasting of spring wheat during the 2000–2010 period. Regression models were built based on a procedure of a leave-one-year-out. The results showed that both agroclimate + MODIS-NDVI and agroclimate + MODIS-EVI performed equally well predicting spring wheat yield at the ECD scale. The mean absolute error percentages (MAPE) of the models selected from both the two data sets ranged from 2% to 33% over the study period. The model efficiency index (MEI) varied between