As an important indicator to characterize the surface vegetation, fractional vegetation cover (FVC) with high spatio-temporal resolution is essential for earth surface process simulation. However, due to technical limitations and the influence of weather, it is difficult to generate temporally continuous FVC with high spatio-temporal resolution based on a single remote-sensing data source. Therefore, the objective of this study is to explore the feasibility of generating high spatio-temporal resolution FVC based on the fusion of GaoFen-1 Wide Field View (GF-1 WFV) data and Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Two fusion strategies were employed to identify a suitable fusion method: (i) fusing reflectance data from GF-1 WFV and MODIS firstly and then estimating FVC from the reflectance fusion result (strategy FC, Fusion_then_FVC). (ii) fusing the FVC estimated from GF-1 WFV and MODIS reflectance data directly (strategy CF, FVC_then_Fusion). The FVC generated using strategies FC and CF were evaluated based on FVC estimated from the real GF-1 WFV data and the field survey FVC, respectively. The results indicated that strategy CF achieved higher accuracies with less computational cost than those of strategy FC both in the comparisons with FVC estimated from the real GF-1 WFV (CF:R2
= 0.9580, RMSE = 0.0576; FC: R2
= 0.9345, RMSE = 0.0719) and the field survey FVC data (CF: R2
= 0.8138, RMSE = 0.0985; FC: R2
= 0.7173, RMSE = 0.1214). Strategy CF preserved spatial details more accurately than strategy FC and had a lower probability of generating abnormal values. It could be concluded that fusing GF-1 WFV and MODIS data for generating high spatio-temporal resolution FVC with good quality was feasible, and strategy CF was more suitable for generating FVC given its advantages in estimation accuracy and computational efficiency.
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