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Open AccessArticle

Mapping Climatological Bare Soil Albedos over the Contiguous United States Using MODIS Data

by Tao He 1,2,*, Feng Gao 3, Shunlin Liang 1,4 and Yi Peng 1
1
School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
3
USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
4
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(6), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060666
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 14 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remotely Sensed Albedo)
Surface bare soil albedo is an important variable in climate modeling studies and satellite-based retrievals of land-surface properties. In this study, we used multiyear 500 m albedo products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to derive the bare soil albedo for seven spectral bands and three broadbands over the contiguous United States (CONUS). The soil line based on red and green spectral signatures derived from MODIS data was used as the basis to detect and extract bare soil albedo. A comparison against bare soil albedo derived from 30 m Landsat data has been made, showing that the MODIS bare soil albedo had a bias of 0.003 and a root-mean-square-error (RMSE) of 0.036. We found that the bare soil albedo was negatively correlated with soil moisture from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E), with a relatively stable exponential relationship reflecting the darkening effect that moisture has on most soils. However, quantification of the relationship between bare soil albedo and soil moisture still needs to be improved through simultaneous and instantaneous measurements at a finer spatial resolution. Statistics of the multiyear climatological bare soil albedos calculated using soil types and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) land cover types suggest that: Land cover type is a better indicator for determining the magnitude of bare soil albedos for the vegetated areas, as the vegetation density is correlated with soil moisture; and soil type is a better indicator for determining the slope of soil lines over sparsely vegetated areas, as it contains information of the soil texture, roughness, and composition. The generated bare soil albedo can be applied to improve the parameterization of surface energy budget in climate and remote sensing models as well as the retrieval accuracy of some satellite products. View Full-Text
Keywords: bare soil albedo; MODIS albedo; contiguous United States; soil line; Landsat albedo; soil moisture bare soil albedo; MODIS albedo; contiguous United States; soil line; Landsat albedo; soil moisture
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He, T.; Gao, F.; Liang, S.; Peng, Y. Mapping Climatological Bare Soil Albedos over the Contiguous United States Using MODIS Data. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 666.

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