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Special Issue "Advances in Quantitative Remote Sensing in China – In Memory of Prof. Xiaowen Li"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (7 January 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Shunlin Liang

Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: quantitative land remote sensing, Earth’s energy budget, global environmental change
Guest Editor
Dr. Guangjian Yan

Institute of Remote Sensing Science and Engineering, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
E-Mail
Interests: multiangular remote sensing; vegetation remote sensing; radiation budget
Guest Editor
Dr. Jiancheng Shi

Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, CAS, China
E-Mail
Interests: microwave remote sensing of water cycle related components

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

China has recently developed a very comprehensive and ambitious Earth observation program. Hundreds of satellites have been launched or will be lunched soon. A series of grand research projects have been funded to process and analyze the huge amount of satellite data. As a result, significant progress in quantitative remote sensing has been made from radiative transfer modeling, advanced inversion methods, high-level products generation, to various applications.

In memory of Prof. Xiaowen Li, who was one of the pioneers in promoting quantitative remote sensing study in China, we organized the third national forum on quantitative remote sensing in Beijing Normal University, July 14 and 15, 2017. More than 200 people attended this forum.

To document the progress and facilitate more international collaborations, we propose to edit this Special Issue on Remote Sensing.

It will cover the full aspects of quantitative remote sensing, with particular focus on:

  • New satellite missions
  • Radiative transfer modeling
  • Inversion methodology
  • Satellite products generation
  • Field measurements and validation
  • Satellite product applications

In addition to regular submissions, some review papers will be invited. We will also write an Editorial to summarize the achievements of Prof. Xiaowen Li as a memorial.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dr. Shunlin Liang
Dr. Guangjian Yan
Dr. Jiancheng Shi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access bimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (41 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Recent Progress in Quantitative Land Remote Sensing in China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091490
Received: 12 September 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
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Abstract
During the past forty years, since the first book with a title mentioning quantitative and remote sensing was published [1], quantitative land remote sensing has advanced dramatically, and numerous books have been published since then [26] although
[...] Read more.
During the past forty years, since the first book with a title mentioning quantitative and remote sensing was published [1], quantitative land remote sensing has advanced dramatically, and numerous books have been published since then [26] although some of them did not use quantitative land remote sensing in their titles. [...]
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle From Geometric-Optical Remote Sensing Modeling to Quantitative Remote Sensing Science—In Memory of Academician Xiaowen Li
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(11), 1764; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10111764
Received: 2 August 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
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Abstract
The academician Xiaowen Li devoted much of his life to pursuing fundamental research in remote sensing. A pioneer in the geometric-optical modeling of vegetation canopies, his work is held in high regard by the international remote sensing community. He codeveloped the Li–Strahler geometric-optic
[...] Read more.
The academician Xiaowen Li devoted much of his life to pursuing fundamental research in remote sensing. A pioneer in the geometric-optical modeling of vegetation canopies, his work is held in high regard by the international remote sensing community. He codeveloped the Li–Strahler geometric-optic model, and this paper was selected by a member of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) milestone series. As a chief scientist, Xiaowen Li led a scientific team that made outstanding advances in bidirectional reflectance distribution modeling, directional thermal emission modeling, comprehensive experiments, and the understanding of spatial and temporal scale effects in remote sensing information, and of quantitative inversions utilizing remote sensing data. In addition to his broad research activities, he was noted for his humility and his dedication in making science more accessible for the general public. Here, the life and academic contributions of Xiaowen Li to the field of quantitative remote sensing science are briefly reviewed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Forest Canopy Vertical Stratification on the Estimation of Gross Primary Production by Remote Sensing
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(9), 1329; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091329
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 21 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2731 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Gross primary production (GPP) in forests is the most important carbon flux in terrestrial ecosystems. Forest ecosystems with high leaf area index (LAI) values have diverse species or complex forest structures with vertical stratifications that influence the carbon–water–energy cycles. In this study, we
[...] Read more.
Gross primary production (GPP) in forests is the most important carbon flux in terrestrial ecosystems. Forest ecosystems with high leaf area index (LAI) values have diverse species or complex forest structures with vertical stratifications that influence the carbon–water–energy cycles. In this study, we used three light use efficiency (LUE) GPP models and site-level experiment data to analyze the effects of the vertical stratification of dense forest vegetation on the estimates of remotely sensed GPP during the growing season of two forest sites in East Asia: Dinghushan (DHS) and Tomakomai (TMK). The results showed that different controlling environmental factors of the vertical layers, such as temperature and vapor pressure deficit (VPD), produce different responses for the same LUE value in the different sub-ecosystems (defined as the tree, shrub, and grass layers), which influences the GPP estimation. Air temperature and VPD play important roles in the effects of vertical stratification on the GPP estimates in dense forests, which led to differences in GPP uncertainties from −50% to 30% because of the distinct temperature responses in TMK. The unequal vertical LAI distributions in the different sub-ecosystems led to GPP variations of 1–2 gC/m2/day with uncertainties of approximately −30% to 20% because sub-ecosystems have unique absorbed fractions of photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) and LUE. A comparison with the flux tower-based GPP data indicated that the GPP estimations from the LUE and APAR values from separate vertical layers exhibited better model performance than those calculated using the single-layer method, with 10% less bias in DHS and more than 70% less bias in TMK. The precision of the estimated GPP in regions with thick understory vegetation could be effectively improved by considering the vertical variations in environmental parameters and the LAI values of different sub-ecosystems as separate factors when calculating the GPP of different components. Our results provide useful insight that can be used to improve the accuracy of remote sensing GPP estimations by considering vertical stratification parameters along with the LAI of sub-ecosystems in dense forests. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Retrieval of 30-m Resolution LAI from Landsat Data by Combining MODIS Products
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(8), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10081187
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 17 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (19325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Leaf area index (LAI) is a critical vegetation structural parameter in biogeochemical and biophysical ecosystems. High-resolution LAI products play an essential role in regional studies. Empirical methods, which normally use field measurements as their training samples and have been identified as the most
[...] Read more.
Leaf area index (LAI) is a critical vegetation structural parameter in biogeochemical and biophysical ecosystems. High-resolution LAI products play an essential role in regional studies. Empirical methods, which normally use field measurements as their training samples and have been identified as the most commonly used approaches to retrieve structural parameters of vegetation from high-resolution remote-sensing data, are limited by the quality of training samples. Few efforts have been made to generate training samples from existing global LAI products. In this study, two methods (a homogeneous and pure pixel filter method (method A) and a pixel unmixing method (method B)) were developed to extract training samples from moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) surface reflectance and LAI products, and a support vector regression (SVR) algorithm trained by the samples was used to retrieve the high-resolution LAI from Landsat data at Baoding, situated in the Hebei Province in China, and Des Moines, situated in Iowa, United States. For the homogeneous and pure pixel filter method, two different sets of training samples were designed. One was composed of upscaled Landsat reflectance at the 500-m resolution and MODIS LAI products (dataset A1); the other was composed of MODIS reflectance and LAI products (dataset A2). With them, two inversion models were developed using SVR. For the pixel unmixing method, the training samples (dataset B) were extracted from unmixed MODIS surface reflectance and LAI products at 30-m resolution, and the third inversion model was obtained with them. LAI inversion results showed that good agreement with field measurements was achieved using these three inversion models. The R2 (coefficient of determination) value and the root mean square error (RMSE) value were computed to assess the results. For all tests, the R2 values are higher than 0.74 and RMSE values are less than 0.73. These tests showed that three models for the two methods combined with MODIS products can retrieve 30-m resolution LAI from Landsat data. The results of the pixel unmixing method was slightly better than that of the homogeneous and pure pixel filter method. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Developing an Integrated Remote Sensing Based Biodiversity Index for Predicting Animal Species Richness
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050739
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 24 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Many remote sensing metrics have been applied in large-scale animal species monitoring and conservation. However, the capabilities of these metrics have not been well compared and assessed. In this study, we investigated the correlation of 21 remote sensing metrics in three categories with
[...] Read more.
Many remote sensing metrics have been applied in large-scale animal species monitoring and conservation. However, the capabilities of these metrics have not been well compared and assessed. In this study, we investigated the correlation of 21 remote sensing metrics in three categories with the global species richness of three different animal classes using several statistical methods. As a result, we developed a new index by integrating several highly correlated metrics. Of the 21 remote sensing metrics analyzed, evapotranspiration (ET) had the greatest impact on species richness on a global scale (explained variance: 52%). The metrics with a high explained variance on the global scale were mainly in the energy/productivity category. The metrics in the texture category exhibited higher correlation with species richness at regional scales. We found that radiance and temperature had a larger impact on the distribution of bird richness, compared to their impacts on the distributions of both amphibians and mammals. Three machine learning models (i.e., support vector machine, random forests, and neural networks) were evaluated for metric integration, and the random forest model showed the best performance. Our newly developed index exhibited a 0.7 explained variance for the three animal classes’ species richness on a global scale, with an explained variance that was 20% higher than any of the univariate metrics. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Reconstruction of Single Tree with Leaves Based on Terrestrial LiDAR Point Cloud Data
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(5), 686; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10050686
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 28 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5082 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many studies have been focusing on reconstructing the branch skeleton of a three-dimensional (3D) tree structure that is based on photos or point clouds scanned by a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS), but leaves, as the important component of a tree, are often ignored
[...] Read more.
Many studies have been focusing on reconstructing the branch skeleton of a three-dimensional (3D) tree structure that is based on photos or point clouds scanned by a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS), but leaves, as the important component of a tree, are often ignored or simplified because of their complexity. Therefore, we develop a voxel-based method to add leaves to a reconstructed 3D branches structure based on TLS point clouds. The location and size of each leaf depend on the spatial distribution and density of leaves points in the voxel. We reconstruct a small 3D scene with four realistic 3D trees and a virtual tree (including trunk, branches, and leaves), and validate the structure of each tree through the directional gap fractions calculated based on simulated point clouds of this reconstructed scene by the ray-tracing algorithm. The results show good coherence with those from measured point clouds data. The relative errors of the directional gap fractions are no more than 4.1%, though the method is limited by the effects of point occlusion. Therefore, this method is shown to give satisfactory consistency both visually and in the quantitative evaluation of the 3D structure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Downscaling of Gross Primary Productivity Using Topographic and Vegetation Heterogeneity Information: A Case Study in the Gongga Mountain Region of China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040647
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 16 April 2018 / Accepted: 20 April 2018 / Published: 22 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Due to the spatial heterogeneity of land surfaces, downscaling is an important issue in the development of carbon cycle models when evaluating the role of ecosystems in the global carbon cycle. In this study, a downscaling algorithm was developed to model gross primary
[...] Read more.
Due to the spatial heterogeneity of land surfaces, downscaling is an important issue in the development of carbon cycle models when evaluating the role of ecosystems in the global carbon cycle. In this study, a downscaling algorithm was developed to model gross primary productivity (GPP) at 500 m in a time series over rugged terrain, which considered the effects of spatial heterogeneity on carbon flux simulations. This work was carried out for a mountainous area with an altitude ranging from 2606 to 4744 m over the Gongga Mountain (Sichuan Province, China). In addition, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) GPP product at 1 km served as the primary dataset for the downscaling algorithm, and the 500 m MODIS GPP product was used as the reference dataset to evaluate the downscaled GPP results. Moreover, in order to illustrate the advantages and benefits of the proposed downscaling method, the downscaled results in this work, along with ordinary kriging downscaled results, spline downscaled results and inverse distance weighted (IDW) downscaled results, were compared to the MODIS GPP at 500 m. The results showed that (1) the GPP difference between the 500 m MODIS GPP and the proposed downscaled GPP results was primarily in the range of [−1, 1], showing that both vegetation heterogeneity factors (i.e., LAI) and topographic factors (i.e., altitude, slope and aspect) were useful for GPP downscaling; (2) the proposed downscaled results (R2 = 0.89, RMSE = 1.03) had a stronger consistency with the 500 m MODIS GPP than those of the ordinary kriging downscaled results (R2 = 0.43, RMSE = 1.36), the spline downscaled results (R2 = 0.40, RMSE = 1.50) and the IDW downscaled results (R2 = 0.42, RMSE = 1.10) for all Julian days; and (3) the inconsistency between MODIS GPP at 500 m and 1 km increased with the increase in altitude and slope. The proposed downscaling algorithm could provide a reference when considering the effects of spatial heterogeneity on carbon flux simulations and retrieving other fine resolution ecological-physiology parameters (e.g., net primary productivity and evaporation) over topographically complex terrains. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatio-Temporal Analysis and Uncertainty of Fractional Vegetation Cover Change over Northern China during 2001–2012 Based on Multiple Vegetation Data Sets
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040549
Received: 7 January 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 2 April 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
Northern China is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable regions in the country. To combat environmental degradation in northern China, a series of vegetation protection programs, such as the Three-North Shelter Forest Program (TNFSP), have been implemented. Whether the implementation of these
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Northern China is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable regions in the country. To combat environmental degradation in northern China, a series of vegetation protection programs, such as the Three-North Shelter Forest Program (TNFSP), have been implemented. Whether the implementation of these programs in northern China has improved the vegetation conditions has merited global attention. Therefore, quantifying vegetation changes in northern China is essential for meteorological, hydrological, ecological, and societal implications. Fractional vegetation cover (FVC) is a crucial biophysical parameter which describes land surface vegetation conditions. In this study, four FVC data sets derived from remote sensing data over northern China are employed for a spatio-temporal analysis to determine the uncertainty of fractional vegetation cover change from 2001 to 2012. Trend analysis of these data sets (including an annually varying estimate of error) reveals that FVC has increased at the rate of 0.26 ± 0.13%, 0.30 ± 0.25%, 0.12 ± 0.03%, 0.49 ± 0.21% per year in northern China, Northeast China, Northwest China, and North China during the period 2001–2012, respectively. In all of northern China, only 33.03% of pixels showed a significant increase in vegetation cover whereas approximately 16.81% of pixels showed a significant decrease and 50.16% remained relatively stable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Local Effects of Forests on Temperatures across Europe
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040529
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 22 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (61898 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Forests affect local climate through biophysical processes in terrestrial ecosystems. Due to the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of ecosystems in Europe, climate responses to forests vary considerably with diverse geographic and seasonal patterns. Few studies have used an empirical analysis to examine the
[...] Read more.
Forests affect local climate through biophysical processes in terrestrial ecosystems. Due to the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of ecosystems in Europe, climate responses to forests vary considerably with diverse geographic and seasonal patterns. Few studies have used an empirical analysis to examine the effect of forests on temperature and the role of the background climate in Europe. In this study, we aimed to quantitatively determine the effects of forest on temperature in different seasons with MODIS (MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) land surface temperature (LST) data and in situ air temperature measurements. First, we compared the differences in LSTs between forests and nearby open land. Then, we paired 48 flux sites with nearby weather stations to quantify the effects of forests on surface air temperature. Finally, we explored the role of background temperatures on the above forests effects. The results showed that (1) forest in Europe generally increased LST and air temperature in northeastern Europe and decreased LST and air temperature in other areas; (2) the daytime cooling effect was dominate and produced a net cooling effect from forests in the warm season. In the cold season, daytime and nighttime warming effects drove the net effect of forests; (3) the effects of forests on temperatures were mainly negatively correlated with the background temperatures in Europe. Under extreme climate conditions, the cooling effect of forests will be stronger during heatwaves or weaker during cold spring seasons; (4) the background temperature affects the spatiotemporal distribution of differences in albedo and evapotranspiration (forest minus open land), which determines the spatial, seasonal and interannual effects of forests on temperature. The extrapolation of the results could contribute not only to model validation and development but also to appropriate land use policies for future decades under the background of global warming. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Methods for Passive Microwave Snow Cover Mapping Using FY-3C/MWRI Data in China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040524
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 27 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (64129 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ongoing information on snow and its extent is critical for understanding global water and energy cycles. Passive microwave data have been widely used in snow cover mapping given their long-time observation capabilities under all-weather conditions. However, assessments of different passive microwave (PMW) snow
[...] Read more.
Ongoing information on snow and its extent is critical for understanding global water and energy cycles. Passive microwave data have been widely used in snow cover mapping given their long-time observation capabilities under all-weather conditions. However, assessments of different passive microwave (PMW) snow cover area (SCA) mapping algorithms have rarely been reported, especially in China. In this study, the performances of seven PMW SCA mapping algorithms were tested using in situ snow depth measurements and a one-kilometer Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS) snow cover product over China. The selected algorithms are the FY3 algorithm, Grody’s algorithm, the South China algorithm, Kelly’s algorithm, Singh’s algorithm, Hall’s algorithm and Neal’s algorithm. During the test period, most algorithms performed reasonably well. The overall accuracy of all algorithms is higher than 0.895 against in situ observations and higher than 0.713 against the IMS product. In general, Singh’s algorithm, Hall’s algorithm and Neal’s algorithm had poor performance during the test. Their misclassification errors were larger than those of the remaining algorithms. Grody’s algorithm, the South China algorithm and Kelly’s algorithm had higher positive predictive values and lower omission errors than those of the others. The errors of these three algorithms were mainly caused by variations in commission errors. Comparing to Grody’s algorithm, the South China algorithm and Kelly’s algorithm, the FY3 algorithm presented a conservative snow cover estimation to balance the problem between snow identification and overestimation. As a result, the overall accuracy of the FY3 algorithm was the highest of all the tested algorithms. The accuracy of all algorithms tended to decline with a decreased snow cover fraction as well as SD < 5 cm. All tested algorithms have severe omission errors over barren land and grasslands. The results shown in this study contribute to ongoing efforts to improve the performance and applicability of PMW SCA algorithms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Individual and Interactive Influences of Anthropogenic and Ecological Factors on Forest PM2.5 Concentrations at an Urban Scale
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 521; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10040521
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 24 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (25990 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Integration of Landsat images and multisource data using spatial statistical analysis and geographical detector models can reveal the individual and interactive influences of anthropogenic activities and ecological factors on concentrations of atmospheric particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5).
[...] Read more.
Integration of Landsat images and multisource data using spatial statistical analysis and geographical detector models can reveal the individual and interactive influences of anthropogenic activities and ecological factors on concentrations of atmospheric particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5). This approach has been used in many studies to estimate biomass and forest disturbance patterns and to monitor carbon sinks. However, the approach has rarely been used to comprehensively analyze the individual and interactive influences of anthropogenic factors (e.g., population density, impervious surface percentage) and ecological factors (e.g., canopy density, stand age, and elevation) on PM2.5 concentrations. To do this, we used Landsat-8 images and meteorological data to retrieve quantitative data on the concentrations of particulates (PM2.5), then integrated a forest management planning inventory (FMPI), population density distribution data, meteorological data, and topographic data in a Geographic Information System database, and applied a spatial statistical analysis model to identify aggregated areas (hot spots and cold spots) of particulates in the urban area of Jinjiang city, China. A geographical detector model was used to analyze the individual and interactive influences of anthropogenic and ecological factors on PM2.5 concentrations. We found that particulate concentration hot spots are mainly distributed in urban centers and suburbs, while cold spots are mainly distributed in the suburbs and exurban region. Elevation was the dominant individual factor affecting PM2.5 concentrations, followed by dominant tree species and meteorological factors. A combination of human activities (e.g., population density, impervious surface percentage) and multiple ecological factors caused the dominant interactive effects, resulting in increased PM2.5 concentrations. Our study suggests that human activities and multiple ecological factors effect PM2.5 concentrations both individually and interactively. We conclude that in order to reveal the direct and indirect effects of human activities and multiple factors on PM2.5 concentrations in urban forests, quantification of fusion satellite data and spatial statistical methods should be conducted in urban areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Dynamics in Vegetation GPP over the Great Khingan Mountains Using GLASS Products from 1982 to 2015
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(3), 488; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030488
Received: 21 January 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (38594 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gross primary productivity (GPP) is an important parameter that represents the productivity of vegetation and responses to various ecological environments. The Greater Khingan Mountain (GKM) is one of the most important state-owned forest bases, and boreal forests, including the largest primeval cold-temperature bright
[...] Read more.
Gross primary productivity (GPP) is an important parameter that represents the productivity of vegetation and responses to various ecological environments. The Greater Khingan Mountain (GKM) is one of the most important state-owned forest bases, and boreal forests, including the largest primeval cold-temperature bright coniferous forest in China, are widely distributed in the GKM. This study aimed to reveal spatiotemporal vegetation variations in the GKM on the basis of GPP products that were generated by the Global LAnd Surface Satellite (GLASS) program from 1982 to 2015. First, we explored the spatiotemporal distribution of vegetation across the GKM. Then we analyzed the relationships between GPP variation and driving factors, including meteorological elements, growing season length (GSL), and Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR), to investigate the dominant factor for GPP dynamics. Results demonstrated that (1) the spatial distribution of accumulated GPP (AG) in spring, summer, autumn, and the growing season varied due to three main reasons: understory vegetation, altitude, and land cover; (2) interannual AG in summer, autumn, and the growing season significantly increased at the regional scale during the past 34 years under climate warming and drying; (3) interannual changes of accumulated GPP in the growing season (AGG) at the pixel scale displayed a rapid expansion in areas with a significant increasing trend (p < 0.05) during the period of 1982–2015 and this trend was caused by the natural forest protection project launched in 1998; and finally, (4) an analysis of driving factors showed that daily sunshine duration in summer was the most important factor for GPP in the GKM and this is different from previous studies, which reported that the GSL plays a crucial role in other areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Daily Average Downward Shortwave Radiation over Antarctica
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(3), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030422
Received: 11 January 2018 / Revised: 19 February 2018 / Accepted: 19 February 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
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Abstract
Surface shortwave (SW) irradiation is the primary driving force of energy exchange in the atmosphere and land interface. The global climate is profoundly influenced by irradiation changes due to the special climatic condition in Antarctica. Remote-sensing retrieval can offer only the instantaneous values
[...] Read more.
Surface shortwave (SW) irradiation is the primary driving force of energy exchange in the atmosphere and land interface. The global climate is profoundly influenced by irradiation changes due to the special climatic condition in Antarctica. Remote-sensing retrieval can offer only the instantaneous values in an area, whilst daily cycle and average values are necessary for further studies and applications, including climate change, ecology, and land surface process. When considering the large values of and small diurnal changes of solar zenith angle and cloud coverage, we develop two methods for the temporal extension of remotely sensed downward SW irradiance over Antarctica. The first one is an improved sinusoidal method, and the second one is an interpolation method based on cloud fraction change. The instantaneous irradiance data and cloud products are used in both methods to extend the diurnal cycle, and obtain the daily average value. Data from South Pole and Georg von Neumayer stations are used to validate the estimated value. The coefficient of determination (R2) between the estimated daily averages and the measured values based on the first method is 0.93, and the root mean square error (RMSE) is 32.21 W/m2 (8.52%). As for the traditional sinusoidal method, the R2 and RMSE are 0.68 and 70.32 W/m2 (18.59%), respectively The R2 and RMSE of the second method are 0.96 and 25.27 W/m2 (6.98%), respectively. These values are better than those of the traditional linear interpolation (0.79 and 57.40 W/m2 (15.87%)). Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Lookup-Table-Based Approach to Estimating Surface Solar Irradiance from Geostationary and Polar-Orbiting Satellite Data
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(3), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030411
Received: 9 December 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Incoming surface solar irradiance (SSI) is essential for calculating Earth’s surface radiation budget and is a key parameter for terrestrial ecological modeling and climate change research. Remote sensing images from geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites provide an opportunity for SSI estimation through directly retrieving
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Incoming surface solar irradiance (SSI) is essential for calculating Earth’s surface radiation budget and is a key parameter for terrestrial ecological modeling and climate change research. Remote sensing images from geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites provide an opportunity for SSI estimation through directly retrieving atmospheric and land-surface parameters. This paper presents a new scheme for estimating SSI from the visible and infrared channels of geostationary meteorological and polar-orbiting satellite data. Aerosol optical thickness and cloud microphysical parameters were retrieved from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system images by interpolating lookup tables of clear and cloudy skies, respectively. SSI was estimated using pre-calculated offline lookup tables with different atmospheric input data of clear and cloudy skies. The lookup tables were created via the comprehensive radiative transfer model, Santa Barbara Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer (SBDART), to balance computational efficiency and accuracy. The atmospheric attenuation effects considered in our approach were water vapor absorption and aerosol extinction for clear skies, while cloud parameters were the only atmospheric input for cloudy-sky SSI estimation. The approach was validated using one-year pyranometer measurements from seven stations in the SURFRAD (SURFace RADiation budget network). The results of the comparison for 2012 showed that the estimated SSI agreed with ground measurements with correlation coefficients of 0.94, 0.69, and 0.89 with a bias of 26.4 W/m2, −5.9 W/m2, and 14.9 W/m2 for clear-sky, cloudy-sky, and all-sky conditions, respectively. The overall root mean square error (RMSE) of instantaneous SSI was 80.0 W/m2 (16.8%), 127.6 W/m2 (55.1%), and 99.5 W/m2 (25.5%) for clear-sky, cloudy-sky (overcast sky and partly cloudy sky), and all-sky (clear-sky and cloudy-sky) conditions, respectively. A comparison with other state-of-the-art studies suggests that our proposed method can successfully estimate SSI with a maximum improvement of an RMSE of 24 W/m2. The clear-sky SSI retrieval was sensitive to aerosol optical thickness, which was largely dependent on the diurnal surface reflectance accuracy. Uncertainty in the pre-defined horizontal visibility for ‘clearest sky’ will eventually lead to considerable SSI retrieval error. Compared to cloud effective radius, the retrieval error of cloud optical thickness was a primary factor that determined the SSI estimation accuracy for cloudy skies. Our proposed method can be used to estimate SSI for clear and one-layer cloud sky, but is not suitable for multi-layer clouds overlap conditions as a lower-level cloud cannot be detected by the optical sensor when a higher-level cloud has a higher optical thickness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Forest Canopy Height and Aboveground Biomass from Spaceborne LiDAR and Landsat Imageries in Maryland
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020344
Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Mapping the regional distribution of forest canopy height and aboveground biomass is worthwhile and necessary for estimating the carbon stocks on Earth and assessing the terrestrial carbon flux. In this study, we produced maps of forest canopy height and the aboveground biomass at
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Mapping the regional distribution of forest canopy height and aboveground biomass is worthwhile and necessary for estimating the carbon stocks on Earth and assessing the terrestrial carbon flux. In this study, we produced maps of forest canopy height and the aboveground biomass at a 30 m spatial resolution in Maryland by combining Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) data and Landsat spectral imageries. The processes for calculating the forest biomass included the following: (i) processing the GLAS waveform and calculating spatially discrete forest canopy heights; (ii) developing canopy height models from Landsat imagery and extrapolating them to spatially contiguous canopy heights in Maryland; and, (iii) estimating forest aboveground biomass according to the relationship between canopy height and biomass. In our study, we explore the ability to use the GLAS waveform to calculate canopy height without ground-measured forest metrics (R2 = 0.669, RMSE = 4.82 m, MRE = 15.4%). The machine learning models performed better than the principal component model when mapping the regional forest canopy height and aboveground biomass. The total forest aboveground biomass in Maryland reached approximately 160 Tg. When compared with the existing Biomass_CMS map, our biomass estimates presented a similar distribution where higher values were in the Western Shore Uplands region and Folded Application Mountain section, while lower values were located in the Delmarva Peninsula and Allegheny Mountain regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Monitoring Rice Phenology Based on Backscattering Characteristics of Multi-Temporal RADARSAT-2 Datasets
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020340
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract
Accurate estimation and monitoring of rice phenology is necessary for the management and yield prediction of rice. The radar backscattering coefficient, one of the most direct and accessible parameters has been proved to be capable of retrieving rice growth parameters. This paper aims
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Accurate estimation and monitoring of rice phenology is necessary for the management and yield prediction of rice. The radar backscattering coefficient, one of the most direct and accessible parameters has been proved to be capable of retrieving rice growth parameters. This paper aims to investigate the possibility of monitoring the rice phenology (i.e., transplanting, vegetative, reproductive, and maturity) using the backscattering coefficients or their simple combinations of multi-temporal RADARSAT-2 datasets only. Four RADARSAT-2 datasets were analyzed at 30 sample plots in Meishan City, Sichuan Province, China. By exploiting the relationships of the backscattering coefficients and their combinations versus the phenology of rice, HH/VV, VV/VH, and HH/VH ratios were found to have the greatest potential for phenology monitoring. A decision tree classifier was applied to distinguish the four phenological phases, and the classifier was effective. The validation of the classifier indicated an overall accuracy level of 86.2%. Most of the errors occurred in the vegetative and reproductive phases. The corresponding errors were 21.4% and 16.7%, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Global Vegetation Productivity from Global LAnd Surface Satellite Data
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020327
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 18 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
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Abstract
Accurately estimating vegetation productivity is important in research on terrestrial ecosystems, carbon cycles and climate change. Eight-day gross primary production (GPP) and annual net primary production (NPP) are contained in MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products (MOD17), which are considered the first operational
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Accurately estimating vegetation productivity is important in research on terrestrial ecosystems, carbon cycles and climate change. Eight-day gross primary production (GPP) and annual net primary production (NPP) are contained in MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products (MOD17), which are considered the first operational datasets for monitoring global vegetation productivity. However, the cloud-contaminated MODIS leaf area index (LAI) and Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR) retrievals may introduce some considerable errors to MODIS GPP and NPP products. In this paper, global eight-day GPP and eight-day NPP were first estimated based on Global LAnd Surface Satellite (GLASS) LAI and FPAR products. Then, GPP and NPP estimates were validated by FLUXNET GPP data and BigFoot NPP data and were compared with MODIS GPP and NPP products. Compared with MODIS GPP, a time series showed that estimated GLASS GPP in our study was more temporally continuous and spatially complete with smoother trajectories. Validated with FLUXNET GPP and BigFoot NPP, we demonstrated that estimated GLASS GPP and NPP achieved higher precision for most vegetation types. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Simulation and Analysis of the Topographic Effects on Snow-Free Albedo over Rugged Terrain
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020278
Received: 30 November 2017 / Revised: 26 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
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Abstract
Topography complicates the modeling and retrieval of land surface albedo due to shadow effects and the redistribution of incident radiation. Neglecting topographic effects may lead to a significant bias when estimating land surface albedo over a single slope. However, for rugged terrain, a
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Topography complicates the modeling and retrieval of land surface albedo due to shadow effects and the redistribution of incident radiation. Neglecting topographic effects may lead to a significant bias when estimating land surface albedo over a single slope. However, for rugged terrain, a comprehensive and systematic investigation of topographic effects on land surface albedo is currently ongoing. Accurately estimating topographic effects on land surface albedo over a rugged terrain presents a challenge in remote sensing modeling and applications. In this paper, we focused on the development of a simplified estimation method for snow-free albedo over a rugged terrain at a 1-km scale based on a 30-m fine-scale digital elevation model (DEM). The proposed method was compared with the radiosity approach based on simulated and real DEMs. The results of the comparison showed that the proposed method provided adequate computational efficiency and satisfactory accuracy simultaneously. Then, the topographic effects on snow-free albedo were quantitatively investigated and interpreted by considering the mean slope, subpixel aspect distribution, solar zenith angle, and solar azimuth angle. The results showed that the more rugged the terrain and the larger the solar illumination angle, the more intense the topographic effects were on black-sky albedo (BSA). The maximum absolute deviation (MAD) and the maximum relative deviation (MRD) of the BSA over a rugged terrain reached 0.28 and 85%, respectively, when the SZA was 60° for different terrains. Topographic effects varied with the mean slope, subpixel aspect distribution, SZA and SAA, which should not be neglected when modeling albedo. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impacts of Leaf Age on Canopy Spectral Signature Variation in Evergreen Chinese Fir Forests
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020262
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 February 2018 / Published: 8 February 2018
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Abstract
Significant gaps exist in our knowledge of the impact of leaf aging on canopy signal variability, which limits our understanding of vegetation status based on remotely sensed data. To understand the effects of leaf aging at the leaf and canopy scales, a combination
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Significant gaps exist in our knowledge of the impact of leaf aging on canopy signal variability, which limits our understanding of vegetation status based on remotely sensed data. To understand the effects of leaf aging at the leaf and canopy scales, a combination of field, remote-sensing and physical modeling techniques was adopted to assess the canopy spectral signals of evergreen Cunninghamia forests. We observed an approximately 10% increase in Near-Infrared (NIR) reflectance for new leaves and a 35% increase in NIR transmittance for mature leaves from May to October. When variations in leaf optical properties (LOPs) of only mature leaves, or both new and mature leaves were considered, the Geometric Optical and Radiative Transfer (GORT) model-simulated canopy reflectance trajectory was more consistent with Landsat observations (R2 increased from 0.37 to 0.82~0.89 for NIR reflectance, and from 0.35 to 0.67~0.88 for EVI2, with a small RMSE (0.01 to 0.02)). This study highlights the importance of leaf age on leaf spectral signatures, and provides evidence of age-dependent LOPs that have important impacts on canopy reflectance in the NIR band and EVI2, which are used to monitor canopy dynamics and productivity, with important implications for RS and forest ecosystem ecology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of High Spatial-Resolution Clear-Sky Land Surface-Upwelling Longwave Radiation from VIIRS/S-NPP Data
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020253
Received: 12 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
Surface-upwelling longwave radiation (LWUP) is an important component of the surface radiation budget. Under the general framework of the hybrid method, the linear models and the multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) models are developed to estimate the 750 m instantaneous clear-sky LWUP from
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Surface-upwelling longwave radiation (LWUP) is an important component of the surface radiation budget. Under the general framework of the hybrid method, the linear models and the multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) models are developed to estimate the 750 m instantaneous clear-sky LWUP from the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiance of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) channels M14, M15, and M16. Comprehensive radiative transfer simulations are conducted to generate a huge amount of representative samples, from which the linear model and the MARS model are derived. The two models developed are validated by the field measurements collected from seven sites in the Surface Radiation Budget Network (SURFRAD). The bias and root-mean-square error (RMSE) of the linear models are −4.59 W/m2 and 16.15 W/m2, whereas those of the MARS models are −5.23 W/m2 and 16.38 W/m2, respectively. The linear models are preferable for the production of the operational LWUP product due to its higher computational efficiency and acceptable accuracy. The LWUP estimated by the linear models developed from VIIRS is compared to that retrieved from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). They agree well with each other with bias and RMSE of −0.15 W/m2 and 25.24 W/m2 respectively. This is the first time that the hybrid method has been applied to globally estimate clear-sky LWUP from VIIRS data. The good performance of the developed hybrid method and consistency between VIIRS LWUP and MODIS LWUP indicate that the hybrid method is promising for producing the long-term high spatial resolution environmental data record (EDR) of LWUP. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating the Performance of the SCOPE Model in Simulating Canopy Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020250
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
The SCOPE (soil canopy observation of photochemistry and energy fluxes) model has been widely used to interpret solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) and investigate the SIF-photosynthesis links at different temporal and spatial scales in recent years. In the SCOPE model, the fluorescence quantum efficiency
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The SCOPE (soil canopy observation of photochemistry and energy fluxes) model has been widely used to interpret solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) and investigate the SIF-photosynthesis links at different temporal and spatial scales in recent years. In the SCOPE model, the fluorescence quantum efficiency in dark-adapted conditions (FQE) for Photosystem II (fqe2) and Photosystem I (fqe1) were two key parameters of SIF emission, which have always been parameterized as fixed values derived from laboratory measurements. To date, only a few studies have focused on evaluating the SCOPE model for SIF interpretation, and the variation of FQE values in the field remains controversial. In this study, the accuracy of the SCOPE model to simulate the canopy SIF was investigated using diurnal experiments on winter wheat. First, ten diurnal experiments were conducted on winter wheat, and the canopy SIF emissions and the SCOPE model’s input parameters were directly measured or indirectly retrieved from the spectral radiances, gross primary productivity (GPP) data, and meteorological records. Second, the SCOPE-simulated SIF emissions with fixed FQE values were evaluated using the observed canopy SIF data. The results show that the SCOPE model can reliably interpret the diurnal cycles of SIF variation and provide acceptable results of SIF simulations at the O2-B (SIFB) and O2-A (SIFA) bands with RRMSEs of 24.35% and 23.67%, respectively. However, the SCOPE-simulated SIFB and SIFA still contained large systematical deviations at some growth stages of wheat, and the seasonal cycles of the ratio between SIFB and SIFA (SIFA/SIFB) cannot be credibly reproduced. Finally, the SCOPE-simulated SIF emissions with variable FQE values were evaluated using the observed canopy SIF data. The simulating accuracy of SIFB and SIFA can be improved greatly using variable FQE values, and the SCOPE simulations track well with the seasonal SIFA/SIFB values with an RRMSE of 20.63%. The results indicated a clear seasonal pattern of FQE values for unbiased SIF simulation: from the erecting to the flowering stage of wheat, the ratio of fqe1 to fqe2 (fqe1/fqe2) gradually increased from 0.05–0.1 to 0.3–0.5, while the fqe2 value decreased from 0.013 to 0.007. Our quantitative results of the model assessment and the FQE adjustment support the use of the SCOPE model as a powerful tool for interpreting the SIF emissions and can serve as a significant reference for future applications of the SCOPE model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Retrieval of Aerosol Optical Depth in the Arid or Semiarid Region of Northern Xinjiang, China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020197
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 26 January 2018 / Published: 29 January 2018
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Abstract
Satellite remote sensing has been widely used to retrieve aerosol optical depth (AOD), which is an indicator of air quality as well as radiative forcing. The dark target (DT) algorithm is applied to low reflectance areas, such as dense vegetation, and the deep
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Satellite remote sensing has been widely used to retrieve aerosol optical depth (AOD), which is an indicator of air quality as well as radiative forcing. The dark target (DT) algorithm is applied to low reflectance areas, such as dense vegetation, and the deep blue (DB) algorithm is adopted for bright-reflecting regions. However, both DT and DB algorithms ignore the effect of surface bidirectional reflectance. This paper provides a method for AOD retrieval in arid or semiarid areas, in which the key points are the accurate estimation of surface reflectance and reasonable assumptions of the aerosol model. To reduce the uncertainty in surface reflectance, a minimum land surface reflectance database at the spatial resolution of 500 m for each month was constructed based on the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) surface reflectance product. Furthermore, a bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) correction model was adopted to compensate for the effect of surface reflectance anisotropy. The aerosol parameters, including AOD, single scattering albedo, asymmetric factor, Ångström exponent and complex refractive index, are determined based on the observation of two sunphotometers installed in northern Xinjiang from July to August 2014. The AOD retrieved from the MODIS images was validated with ground-based measurements and the Terra-MODIS aerosol product (MOD04). The 500 m AOD retrieved from the MODIS showed high consistency with ground-based AOD measurements, with an average correlation coefficient of ~0.928, root mean square error (RMSE) of ~0.042, mean absolute error (MAE) of ~0.032, and the percentage falling within the expected error (EE) of the collocations is higher than that for the MOD04 DB product. The results demonstrate that the new AOD algorithm is more suitable to represent aerosol conditions over Xinjiang than the DB standard product. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Surface Downward Shortwave Radiation over China Based on the Gradient Boosting Decision Tree Method
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020185
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
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Abstract
Downward shortwave radiation (DSR) is an essential parameter in the terrestrial radiation budget and a necessary input for models of land-surface processes. Although several radiation products using satellite observations have been released, coarse spatial resolution and low accuracy limited their application. It is
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Downward shortwave radiation (DSR) is an essential parameter in the terrestrial radiation budget and a necessary input for models of land-surface processes. Although several radiation products using satellite observations have been released, coarse spatial resolution and low accuracy limited their application. It is important to develop robust and accurate retrieval methods with higher spatial resolution. Machine learning methods may be powerful candidates for estimating the DSR from remotely sensed data because of their ability to perform adaptive, nonlinear data fitting. In this study, the gradient boosting regression tree (GBRT) was employed to retrieve DSR measurements with the ground observation data in China collected from the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) Meteorological Information Center and the satellite observations from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) at a spatial resolution of 5 km. The validation results of the DSR estimates based on the GBRT method in China at a daily time scale for clear sky conditions show an R2 value of 0.82 and a root mean square error (RMSE) value of 27.71 W·m−2 (38.38%). These values are 0.64 and 42.97 W·m−2 (34.57%), respectively, for cloudy sky conditions. The monthly DSR estimates were also evaluated using ground measurements. The monthly DSR estimates have an overall R2 value of 0.92 and an RMSE of 15.40 W·m−2 (12.93%). Comparison of the DSR estimates with the reanalyzed and retrieved DSR measurements from satellite observations showed that the estimated DSR is reasonably accurate but has a higher spatial resolution. Moreover, the proposed GBRT method has good scalability and is easy to apply to other parameter inversion problems by changing the parameters and training data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle SPI-Based Analyses of Drought Changes over the Past 60 Years in China’s Major Crop-Growing Areas
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020171
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
This study analyzes the changes in drought patterns in China’s major crop-growing areas over the past 60 years. The analysis was done using both weather station data and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) rainfall data to calculate the Standardized Precipitation
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This study analyzes the changes in drought patterns in China’s major crop-growing areas over the past 60 years. The analysis was done using both weather station data and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Microwave Imager (TMI) rainfall data to calculate the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The results showed that the occurrences of extreme drought were the most serious in recent years in the Southwest China and Sichuan crop-growing areas. The Yangtze River (MLRY) and South China crop-growing areas experienced extreme droughts during 1960–1980, whereas the Northeast China and Huang–Huai–Hai crop-growing areas experienced extreme droughts around 2003. The analysis showed that the SPIs calculated by TRMM data at time scales of one, three, and six months were reliable for monitoring drought in the study regions, but for 12 months, the SPIs calculated by gauge and TRMM data showed less consistency. The analysis of the spatial distribution of droughts over the past 15 years using TMI rainfall data revealed that more than 60% of the area experienced extreme drought in 2011 over the MLRY region and in 1998 over the Huang–Huai–Hai region. The frequency of different intensity droughts presented significant spatial heterogeneity in each crop-growing region. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle Inter-Comparison and Evaluation of Remote Sensing Precipitation Products over China from 2005 to 2013
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020168
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
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Abstract
Precipitation is a key aspect of the climate system. In this paper, the dependability of five satellite precipitation products (TRMM [Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission] 3BV42, PERSIANN [Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks] CDR, GSMaP [Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation]
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Precipitation is a key aspect of the climate system. In this paper, the dependability of five satellite precipitation products (TRMM [Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission] 3BV42, PERSIANN [Precipitation Estimation from Remotely Sensed Information using Artificial Neural Networks] CDR, GSMaP [Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation] RENALYSIS, CMORPH [Climate Prediction Center’s morphing technique] BLD and CMORPH_RAW) were compared with in situ measurements over China for the period of 2005 to 2013. To completely evaluate these precipitation products, the annual, seasonal and monthly precipitation averages were calculated. Overall, the Huaihe River and Qinlin mountains are shown to have heavy precipitation to the southeast and lighter precipitation to the northwest. The comparison results indicate that Gauge correction (CMORPH_BLD) improves the quality of the original satellite products (CMORPH_RAW), resulting in the higher correlation coefficient (CC), the low relative bias (BIAS) and root mean square error (RMSE). Over China, the GSMaP_RENALYSIS outperforms other products and shows the highest CC (0.91) and lowest RMSE (0.85 mm/day) and all products except for PERSIANN_CDR exhibit underestimation. GSMaP_RENALYSIS gives the highest of probability of detection (81%), critical success index (63%) and lowest false alarm ratio (36%) while TRMM3BV42 gives the highest of frequency bias index (1.00). Over Tibetan Plateau, CMORPH_RAW demonstrates the poorest performance with the biggest BIAS (4.2 mm/month) and lowest CC (0.22) in December 2013. GSMaP_RENALYSIS displays quite consistent with in situ measurements in summer. However, GSMaP_RENALYSIS and CMORPH_RAW underestimate precipitation over South China. CMORPH_BLD and TRMM3BV42 show consistent with high CC (>0.8) but relatively large RMSE in summer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Scale Validation Strategy for Albedo Products over Rugged Terrain and Preliminary Application in Heihe River Basin, China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020156
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 19 January 2018 / Published: 24 January 2018
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Abstract
The issue for the validation of land surface remote sensing albedo products over rugged terrain is the scale effects between the reference albedo measurements and coarse scale albedo products, which is caused by the complex topography. This paper illustrates a multi-scale validation strategy
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The issue for the validation of land surface remote sensing albedo products over rugged terrain is the scale effects between the reference albedo measurements and coarse scale albedo products, which is caused by the complex topography. This paper illustrates a multi-scale validation strategy specified for coarse scale albedo validation over rugged terrain. A Mountain-Radiation-Transfer-based (MRT-based) albedo upscaling model was proposed in the process of multi-scale validation strategy for aggregating fine scale albedo to coarse scale. The simulated data of both the reference coarse scale albedo and fine scale albedo were used to assess the performance and uncertainties of the MRT-based albedo upscaling model. The results showed that the MRT-based model could reflect the albedo scale effects over rugged terrain and provided a robust solution for albedo upscaling from fine scale to coarse scale with different mean slopes and different solar zenith angles. The upscaled coarse scale albedos had the great agreements with the simulated coarse scale albedo with a Root-Mean-Square-Error (RMSE) of 0.0029 and 0.0017 for black sky albedo (BSA) and white sky albedo (WSA), respectively. Then the MRT-based model was preliminarily applied for the assessment of daily MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Albedo Collection V006 products (MCD43A3 C6) over rugged terrain. Results showed that the MRT-based model was effective and suitable for conducting the validation of MODIS albedo products over rugged terrain. In this research area, it was shown that the MCD43A3 C6 products with full inversion algorithm, were generally in agreement with the aggregated coarse scale reference albedos over rugged terrain in the Heihe River Basin, with the BSA RMSE of 0.0305 and WSA RMSE of 0.0321, respectively, which were slightly higher than those over flat terrain. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Design of a Novel Spectral Albedometer for Validating the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Spectral Albedo Product
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(1), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10010101
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
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Abstract
Land surface shortwave broadband albedo is a key parameter in general circulation models and surface energy budget models. Multispectral satellite data are typically used to generate broadband albedo products in a three-step process: atmospheric correction, for converting the top-of-atmosphere observations to surface directional
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Land surface shortwave broadband albedo is a key parameter in general circulation models and surface energy budget models. Multispectral satellite data are typically used to generate broadband albedo products in a three-step process: atmospheric correction, for converting the top-of-atmosphere observations to surface directional reflectance; angular modeling, for converting the surface directional reflectance to spectral albedo of each individual band; and finally, narrowband-to-broadband conversion, for transforming the spectral albedos to broadband albedos. Spectroradiometers can be used for validating surface directional reflectance products and pyranometers or broadband albedometers, for validating broadband albedo products, but spectral albedo products are rarely validated using ground measurements. In this study, we designed a new type of albedometer that can measure spectral albedos. It consists of multiple interference filters and a silicon detector, for measuring irradiance from 400–1100 nm. The linearity of the sensors is 99%, and the designed albedometer exhibits consistency up to 0.993, with a widely-used commercial instrument. A field experiment for measuring spectral albedo of grassland using this new albedometer was conducted in Yudaokou, China and the measurements are used for validating the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) spectral albedos. The results show that the biases of the MODIS spectral albedos of the first four bands are −0.0094, 0.0065, 0.0159, and −0.0001, respectively. This new instrument provides an effective technique for validating spectral albedos of any satellite sensor in this spectral range, which is critical for improving satellite broadband albedo products. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of the Spatial Variability of Land Surface Variables for ET Estimation: Case Study in HiWATER Campaign
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10010091
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 11 January 2018
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Abstract
Heterogeneity, including the inhomogeneity of landscapes and surface variables, significantly affects the accuracy of evapotranspiration (ET) (or latent heat flux, LE) estimated from remote sensing satellite data. However, most of the current research uses statistical methods in the mixed pixel to correct the
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Heterogeneity, including the inhomogeneity of landscapes and surface variables, significantly affects the accuracy of evapotranspiration (ET) (or latent heat flux, LE) estimated from remote sensing satellite data. However, most of the current research uses statistical methods in the mixed pixel to correct the ET or LE estimation error, and there is a lack of research from the perspective of the remote sensing model. The method of using frequency distributions or generalized probability density functions (PDFs), which is called the “statistical-dynamical” approach to describe the heterogeneity of land surface characteristics, is a good way to solve the problem. However, in attempting to produce an efficient PDF-based parameterization of remotely sensed ET or LE, first and foremost, it is necessary to systematically understand the variables that are most consistent with the heterogeneity (i.e., variability for a fixed target area or landscape, where the variation in the surface parameter value is primarily concerned with the PDF-based model) of surface turbulence flux. However, the use of PDF alone does not facilitate direct comparisons of the spatial variability of surface variables. To address this issue, the objective of this study is to find an indicator based on PDF to express variability of surface variables. We select the dimensionless or dimensional consistent coefficient of variation (CV), Gini coefficient and entropy to express variability. Based on the analysis of simulated data and field experimental data, we find that entropy is more stable and accurate than the CV and Gini coefficient for expressing the variability of surface variables. In addition, the results of the three methods show that the variability of the leaf area index (LAI) is greater than that of the land surface temperature (LST). Our results provide a suitable method for comparing the variability of different variables. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Chinese HJ-1 CCD, GF-1 WFV and ZY-3 MUX Sensor Data for Leaf Area Index Estimations for Maize
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10010068
Received: 6 November 2017 / Revised: 25 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 5 January 2018
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Abstract
In recent years, China has developed and launched several satellites with high spatial resolutions, such as the resources satellite No. 3 (ZY-3) with a multi-spectral camera (MUX) and 5.8 m spatial resolution, the satellite GaoFen No. 1 (GF-1) with a wide field of
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In recent years, China has developed and launched several satellites with high spatial resolutions, such as the resources satellite No. 3 (ZY-3) with a multi-spectral camera (MUX) and 5.8 m spatial resolution, the satellite GaoFen No. 1 (GF-1) with a wide field of view (WFV) camera and 16 m spatial resolution, and the environment satellite (HJ-1A/B) with a charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor and 30 m spatial resolution. First, to analyze the potential application of ZY-3 MUX, GF-1 WFV, and HJ-1 CCD to extract the leaf area index (LAI) at the regional scale, this study estimated LAI from the relationships between physical model-based spectral vegetation indices (SVIs) and LAI values that were generated from look-up tables (LUTs), simulated from the combination of the PROSPECT-5B leaf model and the scattering by arbitrarily inclined leaves with the hot-spot effect (SAILH) canopy reflectance model. Second, to assess the surface reflectance quality of these sensors after data preprocessing, the well-processed surface reflectance products of the Landsat-8 operational land imager (OLI) sensor with a convincing data quality were used to compare the performances of ZY-3 MUX, GF-1 WFV, and HJ-1 CCD sensors both in theory and reality. Apart from several reflectance fluctuations, the reflectance trends were coincident, and the reflectance values of the red and near-infrared (NIR) bands were comparable among these sensors. Finally, to analyze the accuracy of the LAI estimated from ZY-3 MUX, GF-1 WFV, and HJ-1 CCD, the LAI estimations from these sensors were validated based on LAI field measurements in Huailai, Hebei Province, China. The results showed that the performance of the LAI that was inversed from ZY-3 MUX was better than that from GF-1 WFV, and HJ-1 CCD, both of which tended to be systematically underestimated. In addition, the value ranges and accuracies of the LAI inversions both decreased with decreasing spatial resolution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle High-Resolution Mapping of Freeze/Thaw Status in China via Fusion of MODIS and AMSR2 Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1339; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121339
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 30 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 20 December 2017
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Abstract
Transition of freeze/thaw (F/T) affects land-atmospheric interactions and other biospheric dynamics. Global F/T statuses are normally monitored using microwave remote sensing, but at coarse resolutions (e.g., 25 km). Integration of coarse microwave remote sensing data with finer satellite products represents an opportunity to
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Transition of freeze/thaw (F/T) affects land-atmospheric interactions and other biospheric dynamics. Global F/T statuses are normally monitored using microwave remote sensing, but at coarse resolutions (e.g., 25 km). Integration of coarse microwave remote sensing data with finer satellite products represents an opportunity to further enhance our ability to map F/T statuses regionally and globally. Here, we implemented and tested an approach to generate daily F/T status maps at a 5-km spatial resolution through the fusion of passive microwave data from AMSR2 and land surface temperature products from MODIS, using China as our study area for the year 2013 and 2014. Moreover, possible influences from elevation, vegetation, seasonality, etc., were also analyzed, as such analysis provides a direction to improve the approach. Overall, our freeze/thaw maps agreed well with ground reference observations, with an accuracy of ~86.6%. The new F/T maps helped to identify regions subject to frequent F/T transitions through the year, such as the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Xinjiang, Gansu, Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning Province. This study indicates that the combination of AMSR2 and MODIS observations provides an effective method to obtain finer F/T maps (5-km or lower) for extensive regions. The finer F/T maps improve our knowledge of the F/T state detected by satellite remote sensing, and have a wide range of applications in regional studies considering land surface heterogeneity and models (e.g., community land models). Full article
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Open AccessArticle MODIS-Based Estimation of Terrestrial Latent Heat Flux over North America Using Three Machine Learning Algorithms
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1326; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121326
Received: 3 October 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 16 December 2017
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Abstract
Terrestrial latent heat flux (LE) is a key component of the global terrestrial water, energy, and carbon exchanges. Accurate estimation of LE from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) data remains a major challenge. In this study, we estimated the daily LE for different
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Terrestrial latent heat flux (LE) is a key component of the global terrestrial water, energy, and carbon exchanges. Accurate estimation of LE from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) data remains a major challenge. In this study, we estimated the daily LE for different plant functional types (PFTs) across North America using three machine learning algorithms: artificial neural network (ANN); support vector machines (SVM); and, multivariate adaptive regression spline (MARS) driven by MODIS and Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) meteorology data. These three predictive algorithms, which were trained and validated using observed LE over the period 2000–2007, all proved to be accurate. However, ANN outperformed the other two algorithms for the majority of the tested configurations for most PFTs and was the only method that arrived at 80% precision for LE estimation. We also applied three machine learning algorithms for MODIS data and MERRA meteorology to map the average annual terrestrial LE of North America during 2002–2004 using a spatial resolution of 0.05°, which proved to be useful for estimating the long-term LE over North America. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Detecting Forest Disturbance in Northeast China from GLASS LAI Time Series Data Using a Dynamic Model
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1293; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121293
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 9 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
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Abstract
Large-scale forest disturbance often leads to changes in forest cover and structure, which imposes a great uncertainty in the estimation of the forest carbon cycle and biomass and affects other applications. In northeastern China, the Daxinganling region has abundant forest resources, where the
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Large-scale forest disturbance often leads to changes in forest cover and structure, which imposes a great uncertainty in the estimation of the forest carbon cycle and biomass and affects other applications. In northeastern China, the Daxinganling region has abundant forest resources, where the forest coverage is about 30%. The Global LAnd Surface Satellite (GLASS) leaf area index (LAI) time series data provide important information to monitor the possible change of forests. In this study, we developed a new method to detect forest disturbances using GLASS LAI data over the Daxinganling region of Northeast China. As a dynamic model, the season-trend model has a higher sensitivity toward a seasonal change in LAI. Based on the accumulation of multi-year GLASS LAI products from 1997 to 2002, the dynamic model of LAI time series for each pixel is established first. The time-stepping modeling (TSM) process was designed by using the season-trend method, and sequential tests for detecting disturbances from a time series of pixels. Significant changes in the model parameters were captured as disturbance signals. Then, the near-infrared and shortwave-infrared bands of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) surface reflectance are used as auxiliary information to distinguish the types of forest disturbances. Here, the algorithm led to the detection of two different types of disturbances: fire and other (e.g., insect, drought, deforestation). In this study, we took the forest region as the study area, used the 8-day composite GLASS LAI data at 1000-m spatial resolution to identify each pixel as a fire disturbance, other disturbance, or non-disturbance. Validation was performed using reference burned area data derived from Landsat 30 m imagery. Results were also compared with the MCD64 product. The validation results were based on confusion matrices showing the overall accuracy (OA) exceeded 92% for our method and the MCD64 product. Statistical tests identified that TSM’s product accuracy is higher than that of MCD64. This study demonstrated that the TSM algorithm using a season-trend model provides a simple and automated approach to identify and map forest disturbance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Uncertainty of Remote Sensing Data in Monitoring Vegetation Phenology: A Comparison of MODIS C5 and C6 Vegetation Index Products on the Tibetan Plateau
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1288; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121288
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
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Abstract
Vegetation phenology is considered a sensitive indicator of climate change, which controls carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles within terrestrial ecosystems. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is an important moderate resolution remote sensing data for monitoring vegetation phenology.
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Vegetation phenology is considered a sensitive indicator of climate change, which controls carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles within terrestrial ecosystems. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is an important moderate resolution remote sensing data for monitoring vegetation phenology. However, Terra MODIS Collection 5 (C5) vegetation index products were identified to be affected by sensor degradation, which has been addressed in the recently released MODIS Collection 6 (C6) vegetation index products. In order to compare the difference between MODIS C5 and C6 NDVI in monitoring vegetation phenology, the start and end of growing season (SOS and EOS) of the alpine grassland on the Tibetan Plateau (TP) were extracted using four common methods. Then, the C5 and C6 NDVI-derived SOS (SOSC5 and SOSC6) and EOS (EOSC5 and EOSC6) were compared with ground-observed phenology data. Results showed that the multi-year average growing season NDVIs of C6 were lower than those of C5 in most areas, while the inter-annual variation patterns of regional average SOSC5 and SOSC6 (EOSC5 and EOSC6) were consistent. However, large spatial differences in phenological trends were found between C5 and C6 NDVI products. From C5 to C6, pixels with a SOS (EOS) trend shifting from significant to insignificant or from insignificant to significant accounted for at least 14.58% (9.07%) of the total pixels. SOSC5 was more consistent than SOSC6 with the ground-observed green-up dates. C5 NDVI may be more appropriate for monitoring SOS than C6 NDVI in the study region, but more ground-observed phenology records are needed to confirm it due to only four observational sites in this study. However, large differences and poor correlations existed between EOSC5 (EOSC6) and the ground-observed beginning of leaf coloring. To further evaluate the uncertainty of MODIS C5 and C6 NDVI in monitoring vegetation phenology, higher resolution near-surface remote sensing data and corresponding validation methods should be applied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Diurnal Courses of Gross Primary Production for Maize: A Comparison of Sun-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence, Light-Use Efficiency and Process-Based Models
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1267; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121267
Received: 2 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
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Abstract
Accurately quantifying gross primary production (GPP) is of vital importance to understanding the global carbon cycle. Light-use efficiency (LUE) models and process-based models have been widely used to estimate GPP at different spatial and temporal scales. However, large uncertainties remain in quantifying GPP,
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Accurately quantifying gross primary production (GPP) is of vital importance to understanding the global carbon cycle. Light-use efficiency (LUE) models and process-based models have been widely used to estimate GPP at different spatial and temporal scales. However, large uncertainties remain in quantifying GPP, especially for croplands. Recently, remote measurements of solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) have provided a new perspective to assess actual levels of plant photosynthesis. In the presented study, we evaluated the performance of three approaches, including the LUE-based multi-source data synergized quantitative (MuSyQ) GPP algorithm, the process-based boreal ecosystem productivity simulator (BEPS) model, and the SIF-based statistical model, in estimating the diurnal courses of GPP at a maize site in Zhangye, China. A field campaign was conducted to acquire synchronous far-red SIF (SIF760) observations and flux tower-based GPP measurements. Our results showed that both SIF760 and GPP were linearly correlated with APAR, and the SIF760-GPP relationship was adequately characterized using a linear function. The evaluation of the modeled GPP against the GPP measured from the tower demonstrated that all three approaches provided reasonable estimates, with R2 values of 0.702, 0.867, and 0.667 and RMSE values of 0.247, 0.153, and 0.236 mg m−2 s−1 for the MuSyQ-GPP, BEPS and SIF models, respectively. This study indicated that the BEPS model simulated the GPP best due to its efficiency in describing the underlying physiological processes of sunlit and shaded leaves. The MuSyQ-GPP model was limited by its simplification of some critical ecological processes and its weakness in characterizing the contribution of shaded leaves. The SIF760-based model demonstrated a relatively limited accuracy but showed its potential in modeling GPP without dependency on climate inputs in short-term studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Land Surface Temperature from Feng Yun-3C/MERSI Data Using a New Land Surface Emissivity Scheme
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1247; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121247
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
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Abstract
Land surface temperature (LST) is a key parameter for a wide number of applications, including hydrology, meteorology and surface energy balance. In this study, we first proposed a new land surface emissivity (LSE) scheme, including a lookup table-based method to determine the vegetated
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Land surface temperature (LST) is a key parameter for a wide number of applications, including hydrology, meteorology and surface energy balance. In this study, we first proposed a new land surface emissivity (LSE) scheme, including a lookup table-based method to determine the vegetated surface emissivity and an empirical method to derive the bare soil emissivity from the Global LAnd Surface Satellite (GLASS) broadband emissivity (BBE) product. Then, the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) reanalysis data and the Feng Yun-3C/Medium Resolution Spectral Imager (FY-3C/MERSI) precipitable water vapor product were used to correct the atmospheric effects. After resolving the land surface emissivity and atmospheric effects, the LST was derived in a straightforward manner from the FY-3C/MERSI data by the radiative transfer equation algorithm and the generalized single-channel algorithm. The mean difference between the derived LSE and field-measured LSE over seven stations is approximately 0.002. Validation of the LST retrieved with the LSE determined by the new scheme can achieve an acceptable accuracy. The absolute biases are less than 1 K and the STDs (RMSEs) are less than 1.95 K (2.2 K) for both the 1000 m and 250 m spatial resolutions. The LST accuracy is superior to that retrieved with the LSE determined by the commonly used Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) threshold method. Thus, the new emissivity scheme can be used to improve the accuracy of the LSE and further the LST for sensors with broad spectral ranges such as FY-3C/MERSI. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporally Representative and Cost-Efficient Sampling Design for Validation Activities in Wanglang Experimental Site
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1217; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121217
Received: 12 September 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
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Abstract
Spatiotemporally representative Elementary Sampling Units (ESUs) are required for capturing the temporal variations in surface spatial heterogeneity through field measurements. Since inaccessibility often coexists with heterogeneity, a cost-efficient sampling design is mandatory. We proposed a sampling strategy to generate spatiotemporally representative and cost-efficient
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Spatiotemporally representative Elementary Sampling Units (ESUs) are required for capturing the temporal variations in surface spatial heterogeneity through field measurements. Since inaccessibility often coexists with heterogeneity, a cost-efficient sampling design is mandatory. We proposed a sampling strategy to generate spatiotemporally representative and cost-efficient ESUs based on the conditioned Latin hypercube sampling scheme. The proposed strategy was constrained by multi-temporal Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) imagery, and the ESUs were limited within a sampling feasible region established based on accessibility criteria. A novel criterion based on the Overlapping Area (OA) between the NDVI frequency distribution histogram from the sampled ESUs and that from the entire study area was used to assess the sampling efficiency. A case study in Wanglang National Nature Reserve in China showed that the proposed strategy improves the spatiotemporally representativeness of sampling (mean annual OA = 74.7%) compared to the single-temporally constrained (OA = 68.7%) and the random sampling (OA = 63.1%) strategies. The introduction of the feasible region constraint significantly reduces in-situ labour-intensive characterization necessities at expenses of about 9% loss in the spatiotemporal representativeness of the sampling. Our study will support the validation activities in Wanglang experimental site providing a benchmark for locating the nodes of automatic observation systems (e.g., LAINet) which need a spatially distributed and temporally fixed sampling design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle New Scheme for Validating Remote-Sensing Land Surface Temperature Products with Station Observations
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(12), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9121210
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
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Abstract
Continuous land-surface temperature (LST) observations from ground-based stations are an important reference dataset for validating remote-sensing LST products. However, a lack of evaluations of the representativeness of station observations limits the reliability of validation results. In this study, a new practical validation scheme
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Continuous land-surface temperature (LST) observations from ground-based stations are an important reference dataset for validating remote-sensing LST products. However, a lack of evaluations of the representativeness of station observations limits the reliability of validation results. In this study, a new practical validation scheme is presented for validating remote-sensing LST products that includes a key step: assessing the spatial representativeness of ground-based LST measurements. Three indicators, namely, the dominant land-cover type (DLCT), relative bias (RB), and average structure scale (ASS), are established to quantify the representative levels of station observations based on the land-cover type (LCT) and LST reference maps with high spatial resolution. We validated MODIS LSTs using station observations from the Heihe River Basin (HRB) in China. The spatial representative evaluation steps show that the representativeness of observations greatly differs among stations and varies with different vegetation growth and other factors. Large differences in the validation results occur when using different representative level observations, which indicates a large potential for large error during the traditional T-based validation scheme. Comparisons show that the new validation scheme greatly improves the reliability of LST product validation through high-level representative observations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Leaf Area Density of Individual Trees Using the Point Cloud Segmentation of Terrestrial LiDAR Data and a Voxel-Based Model
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1202; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111202
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 19 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
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Abstract
The leaf area density (LAD) within a tree canopy is very important for the understanding and modeling of photosynthetic studies of the tree. Terrestrial light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been applied to obtain the three-dimensional structural properties of vegetation and estimate the
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The leaf area density (LAD) within a tree canopy is very important for the understanding and modeling of photosynthetic studies of the tree. Terrestrial light detection and ranging (LiDAR) has been applied to obtain the three-dimensional structural properties of vegetation and estimate the LAD. However, there is concern about the efficiency of available approaches. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop an effective means for the LAD estimation of the canopy of individual magnolia trees using high-resolution terrestrial LiDAR data. The normal difference method based on the differences in the structures of the leaf and non-leaf components of trees was proposed and used to segment leaf point clouds. The vertical LAD profiles were estimated using the voxel-based canopy profiling (VCP) model. The influence of voxel size on the LAD estimation was analyzed. The leaf point cloud’s extraction accuracy for two magnolia trees was 86.53% and 84.63%, respectively. Compared with the ground measured leaf area index (LAI), the retrieved accuracy was 99.9% and 90.7%, respectively. The LAD (as well as LAI) was highly sensitive to the voxel size. The spatial resolution of point clouds should be the appropriate estimator for the voxel size in the VCP model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Advancing the PROSPECT-5 Model to Simulate the Spectral Reflectance of Copper-Stressed Leaves
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111191
Received: 26 September 2017 / Revised: 14 November 2017 / Accepted: 17 November 2017 / Published: 20 November 2017
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Abstract
This paper proposes a modified model based on the PROSPECT-5 model to simulate the spectral reflectance of copper-stressed leaves. Compared with PROSPECT-5, the modified model adds the copper content of leaves as one of input variables, and the specific absorption coefficient related to
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This paper proposes a modified model based on the PROSPECT-5 model to simulate the spectral reflectance of copper-stressed leaves. Compared with PROSPECT-5, the modified model adds the copper content of leaves as one of input variables, and the specific absorption coefficient related to copper (Kcu) was estimated and fixed in the modified model. The specific absorption coefficients of other biochemical components (chlorophyll, carotenoid, water, dry matter) were the same as those in PROSPECT-5. Firstly, based on PROSPECT-5, we estimated the leaf structure parameters (N), using biochemical contents (chlorophyll, carotenoid, water, and dry matter) and the spectra of all the copper-stressed leaves (samples). Secondly, the specific absorption coefficient related to copper (Kcu) was estimated by fitting the simulated spectra to the measured spectra using 22 samples. Thirdly, other samples were used to verify the effectiveness of the modified model. The spectra with the new model are closer to the measured spectra when compared to that with PROSPECT-5. Moreover, for all the datasets used for validation and calibration, the root mean square errors (RMSEs) from the new model are less than that from PROSPECT-5. The differences between simulated reflectance and measured reflectance at key wavelengths with the new model are nearer to zero than those with the PROSPECT-5 model. This study demonstrated that the modified model could get more accurate spectral reflectance from copper-stressed leaves when compared with PROSPECT-5, and would provide theoretical support for monitoring the vegetation stressed by copper using remote sensing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Satellite-Derived Spatiotemporal Variations in Evapotranspiration over Northeast China during 1982–2010
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(11), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9111140
Received: 25 September 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 7 November 2017
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Abstract
Evapotranspiration (ET) is a critical process for the climate system and water cycles. However, the spatiotemporal variations in terrestrial ET over Northeast China over the past three decades calculated from sparse meteorological point-based data remain large uncertain. In this paper, a recently proposed
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Evapotranspiration (ET) is a critical process for the climate system and water cycles. However, the spatiotemporal variations in terrestrial ET over Northeast China over the past three decades calculated from sparse meteorological point-based data remain large uncertain. In this paper, a recently proposed modified satellite-based Priestley–Taylor (MS–PT) algorithm was applied to estimate ET of Northeast China during 1982–2010. Validation results show that the square of the correlation coefficients (R2) for the six flux tower sites varies from 0.55 to 0.88 (p < 0.01), and the mean root mean square error (RMSE) is 0.92 mm/d. The ET estimated by MS–PT has an annual mean of 441.14 ± 18 mm/year in Northeast China, with a decreasing trend from southeast coast to northwest inland. The ET also shows in both annual and seasonal linear trends over Northeast China during 1982–2010, although this trend seems to have ceased after 1998, which increased on average by 12.3 mm per decade pre-1998 (p < 0.1) and decreased with large interannual fluctuations post-1998. Importantly, our analysis on ET trends highlights a large difference from previous studies that the change of potential evapotranspiration (PET) plays a key role for the change of ET over Northeast China. Only in the western part of Northeast China does precipitation appear to be a major controlling influence on ET. Full article
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Open AccessReview Characterizing Land Surface Anisotropic Reflectance over Rugged Terrain: A Review of Concepts and Recent Developments
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(3), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10030370
Received: 24 December 2017 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
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Abstract
Rugged terrain, including mountains, hills, and some high lands are typical land surfaces around the world. As a physical parameter for characterizing the anisotropic reflectance of the land surface, the importance of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) has been gradually recognized in
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Rugged terrain, including mountains, hills, and some high lands are typical land surfaces around the world. As a physical parameter for characterizing the anisotropic reflectance of the land surface, the importance of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) has been gradually recognized in the remote sensing community, and great efforts have been dedicated to build BRDF models over various terrain types. However, on rugged terrain, the topography intensely affects the shape and magnitude of the BRDF and creates challenges in modeling the BRDF. In this paper, after a brief introduction of the theoretical background of the BRDF over rugged terrain, the status of estimating land surface BRDF properties over rugged terrain is comprehensively reviewed from a historical perspective and summarized in two categories: BRDFs describing solo slopes and those describing composite slopes. The discussion focuses on land surface reflectance retrieval over mountainous areas, the difference in solo slope and composite slope BRDF models, and suggested future research to improve the accuracy of BRDFs derived with remote sensing satellites. Full article
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