Remote Sens.2015, 7(5), 6489-6509; doi:10.3390/rs70506489 (registering DOI) - published 22 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study analyzed the scaling problem of land surface temperature (LST) data retrieved with the Temperature Emissivity Separation (TES) algorithm. We compiled a remotely sensed dataset that included Thermal Airborne Hyperspectral Imager (TASI) and satellite-based Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Reflection (ASTER) data, which were acquired simultaneously. This dataset provided the range of spatial heterogeneities of land surface necessary for the study, which was quantified by the dispersion variance. The LST scaling problem was studied by comparing the remotely sensed LST products in two ways. First, the LST products calculated in the distributed method and the lumped method were compared. Second, the airborne and satellite-based LST products derived from the TES algorithm were compared. Four upscaling methods of LST were used in the process. A scaling correction methodology was developed based on the comparisons. The results showed that the scaling effect could be as large as 0.8 when the spatial resolution of the TASI LST data was coarse. The scaling effect increases quickly with the spatial resolution until it reaches the characteristic scale of the landscape and is positively correlated with the spatial heterogeneity. The first two upscaling methods denoted as Methods 1–2 can upscale the LST more effectively when compared with the other two scaling methods (Methods 3–4). The scaling effect for the ASTER data is not notable. The comparison between the TASI and ASTER data showed that they were highly consistent, with a root mean square error (RMSE) of approximately 0.88 K, when the pixels were relatively homogeneous. When the spatial heterogeneity was significant, the RMSE was as large as 2.68 K The scaling correction methodology provided resolution-invariant results with scaling effects of less than 0.5 K.
Remote Sens.2015, 7(5), 6454-6488; doi:10.3390/rs70506454 (registering DOI) - published 22 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mean Annual Precipitation is one of the most important variables used in water resource management. However, quantifying Mean Annual Precipitation at high spatial resolution, needed for advanced hydrological analysis, is challenging in developing countries which often present a sparse gauge network and a highly variable climate. In this work, we present a methodology to quantify Mean Annual Precipitation at 1 km spatial resolution using different precipitation products from satellite estimates and gauge observations at coarse spatial resolution (i.e., ranging from 4 km to 25 km). Examples of this methodology are given for South America and West Africa. We develop a downscaling method that exploits the relationship among satellite-derived rainfall, Digital Elevation Model and Enhanced Vegetation Index. Finally, we validate its performance using rain gauge measurements: comparable annual precipitation estimates for both South America and West Africa are retrieved. Validation indicates that high resolution Mean Annual Precipitation downscaled from CHIRP (Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation) and GPCC (Global Precipitation Climatology Centre) datasets present the best ensemble of performance statistics for both South America and West Africa. Results also highlight the potential of the presented technique to downscale satellite-derived rainfall worldwide.
Remote Sens.2015, 7(5), 6433-6453; doi:10.3390/rs70506433 (registering DOI) - published 21 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study presents a revised temporal scaling method based on a detection algorithm for the temporal stability of the evaporative fraction (EF) to estimate total daytime evapotranspiration (ET) at a regional scale. The study area is located in the Heihe River Basin, which is the second largest inland river basin in China. The remote sensing data and field observations used in this study were obtained from the Heihe Watershed Allied Telemetry Experimental Research (HiWATER) project. The half-hourly EF values (EFEC) calculated using meteorological observations from an eddy covariance (EC) system and an automatic meteorological station (AMS) represented the diurnal pattern of the EF across the majority of the study area. The remotely sensed instantaneous midday EF (EFASTER), which indicates the spatial distribution of the midday EF over the entire study area, was calculated from an Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) image. The temporal stability of EFEC was examined using a detection algorithm. Intervals with inconsistent EFEC values were distinguished from those with consistent EFEC values; the total daytime ET (from 9:00 to 19:00) within these interval types was integrated separately. Validation of the total daytime ET at the satellite pixel scale was conducted using measurements from17 EC towers. Using the detection algorithm for the temporal stability of the EF and dynamic adjustment, the revised temporal scaling method resulted in a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.54 (mm·d−1), a mean relative error (MRE) of 7.26% and a correlation coefficient (Corr.) of 0.81; all of these values were superior to those of the two other methods (i.e., the constant EF and variable EF methods). The revised method easily extends to other areas and exhibits a superior performance in flat and regularly-irrigated farmlands at the regional scale.
Remote Sens.2015, 7(5), 6414-6432; doi:10.3390/rs70506414 (registering DOI) - published 21 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: It remains a challenging issue to accurately estimate the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically-active radiation (FPAR) using remote sensing data, as the direct and diffuse radiation reaching the vegetation canopy have different effects for FPAR. In this research, a FPAR inversion model was developed that may distinguish direct and diffuse radiation (the DnD model) based on the energy budget balance principle. Taking different solar zenith angles and diffuse PAR proportions as inputs, the instantaneous FPAR could be calculated. As the leaf area index (LAI) and surface albedo do not vary in a short periods, the FPAR not only on a clear day, but also on a cloudy day may be calculated. This new method was used to produce the FPAR products in the Heihe River Basin with the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) LAI and surface albedo products as the input data source. The instantaneous FPAR was validated by using field-measured data (RMSE is 0.03, R2 is 0.85). The daily average FPAR was compared with the MODIS FPAR product. The inversion results and the MODIS FPAR product are highly correlated, but the MODIS FPAR product is slightly high in forest areas, which is in agreement with other studies for MODIS FPAR products.
Remote Sens.2015, 7(5), 6380-6413; doi:10.3390/rs70506380 (registering DOI) - published 21 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The applications of object-based image analysis (OBIA) in remote sensing studies of wetlands have been growing over recent decades, addressing tasks from detection and delineation of wetland bodies to comprehensive analyses of within-wetland cover types and their change. Compared to pixel-based approaches, OBIA offers several important benefits to wetland analyses related to smoothing of the local noise, incorporating meaningful non-spectral features for class separation and accounting for landscape hierarchy of wetland ecosystem organization and structure. However, there has been little discussion on whether unique challenges of wetland environments can be uniformly addressed by OBIA across different types of data, spatial scales and research objectives, and to what extent technical and conceptual aspects of this framework may themselves present challenges in a complex wetland setting. This review presents a synthesis of 73 studies that applied OBIA to different types of remote sensing data, spatial scale and research objectives. It summarizes the progress and scope of OBIA uses in wetlands, key benefits of this approach, factors related to accuracy and uncertainty in its applications and the main research needs and directions to expand the OBIA capacity in the future wetland studies. Growing demands for higher-accuracy wetland characterization at both regional and local scales together with advances in very high resolution remote sensing and novel tasks in wetland restoration monitoring will likely continue active exploration of the OBIA potential in these diverse and complex environments.
Remote Sens.2015, 7(5), 6358-6379; doi:10.3390/rs70506358 (registering DOI) - published 21 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The paper reports the recent progress in the radiative transfer model (RTM) development, which serves as the observation operator of a Land Data Assimilation System (LDAS), and its validation at two Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) stations with different weather and land cover conditions: Wenjiang station of humid and cropped field and Gaize station of arid and bare soil field. In situ observed micrometeorological data were used as the driven data of LDAS, in which AMSR-E brightness temperatures (TB) were assimilated into a land surface model (LSM). Near surface soil moisture content output from LDAS, together with the one simulated by a LSM with default parameters, were compared to the in-situ soil moisture observation. The comparison results successfully validated the capability of LDAS with new RTM to simulate near surface soil moisture at various environments, supporting that LDAS can generally simulate soil moisture with a reasonable accuracy for both humid vegetated fields and arid bare soil fields while the LSM overestimates near surface soil moisture for humid vegetated fields and underestimates soil moisture for arid bare soil fields.