Landsat time series commonly contain missing observations, i.e., gaps, due to the orbit and sensing geometry, data acquisition strategy, and cloud contamination. A spectral-angle-mapper (SAM) based spatio-temporal similarity (SAMSTS) gap-filling algorithm is presented that is designed to fill small and large area gaps in Landsat data, using one year or less of data and without using other satellite data. Each gap pixel is filled by an alternative similar pixel that is located in a non-missing region of the image. The alternative similar pixel locations are identified by comparison of reflectance time series using a SAM metric revised to be adaptive to missing observations. A time series segmentation-and-clustering approach is used to increase the search efficiency. The SAMSTS algorithm is demonstrated using six months of Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) reflectance time series over three 150 × 150 km (5000 × 5000 30 m pixels) areas in California, Minnesota and Kansas. The three areas contain different land cover types, especially crops that have different phenology and abrupt changes due to agricultural harvesting, which make gap filling challenging. Fillings on simulated gaps, which are equivalent to 36% of 5000 × 5000 images in each test area, are presented. The gap filling accuracy is assessed quantitatively, and the SAMSTS algorithm is shown to perform better than the simple closest temporal pixel substitution gap filling approach and the sinusoidal harmonic model-based gap filling approach. The SAMSTS algorithm provides gap-filled data with five-band reflective-wavelength root-mean-square differences less the 0.02, which is comparable to the OLI reflectance calibration accuracy.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited