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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(11), 15494-15516;

A Generic Algorithm to Estimate LAI, FAPAR and FCOVER Variables from SPOT4_HRVIR and Landsat Sensors: Evaluation of the Consistency and Comparison with Ground Measurements

INRA-EMMAH UMR 1114, 84914 Avignon , France
Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, 2 Croix du Sud, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
CESBIO, UMR CNES-CNRS-IRD-UPS, 18 avenue Edouard Belin, 31401 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Benjamin Koetz, Olivier Arino, Magaly Koch and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 9 November 2015 / Published: 18 November 2015
PDF [2563 KB, uploaded 18 November 2015]


The leaf area index (LAI) and the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by green vegetation (FAPAR) are essential climatic variables in surface process models. FCOVER is also important to separate vegetation and soil for energy balance processes. Currently, several LAI, FAPAR and FCOVER satellite products are derived moderate to coarse spatial resolution. The launch of Sentinel-2 in 2015 will provide data at decametric resolution with a high revisit frequency to allow quantifying the canopy functioning at the local to regional scales. The aim of this study is thus to evaluate the performances of a neural network based algorithm to derive LAI, FAPAR and FCOVER products at decametric spatial resolution and high temporal sampling. The algorithm is generic, i.e., it is applied without any knowledge of the landcover. A time series of high spatial resolution SPOT4_HRVIR (16 scenes) and Landsat 8 (18 scenes) images acquired in 2013 over the France southwestern site were used to generate the LAI, FAPAR and FCOVER products. For each sensor and each biophysical variable, a neural network was first trained over PROSPECT+SAIL radiative transfer model simulations of top of canopy reflectance data for green, red, near-infra red and short wave infra-red bands. Our results show a good spatial and temporal consistency between the variables derived from both sensors: almost half the pixels show an absolute difference between SPOT and LANDSAT estimates of lower that 0.5 unit for LAI, and 0.05 unit for FAPAR and FCOVER. Finally, downward-looking digital hemispherical cameras were completed over the main land cover types to validate the accuracy of the products. Results show that the derived products are strongly correlated with the field measurements (R2 > 0.79), corresponding to a RMSE = 0.49 for LAI, RMSE = 0.10 (RMSE = 0.12) for black-sky (white sky) FAPAR and RMSE = 0.15 for FCOVER. It is concluded that the proposed generic algorithm provides a good basis to monitor the seasonal variation of the vegetation biophysical variables for important crops at decametric resolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: LAI; FAPAR; FCOVER; Landsat 8; SPOT4_HRVIR; time series LAI; FAPAR; FCOVER; Landsat 8; SPOT4_HRVIR; time series

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Li, W.; Weiss, M.; Waldner, F.; Defourny, P.; Demarez, V.; Morin, D.; Hagolle, O.; Baret, F. A Generic Algorithm to Estimate LAI, FAPAR and FCOVER Variables from SPOT4_HRVIR and Landsat Sensors: Evaluation of the Consistency and Comparison with Ground Measurements. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 15494-15516.

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