Application of a new leaf area index algorithm to China's landmass using MODIS data for carbon cycle research
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An operational system was developed for mapping the leaf area index (LAI) for carbon cycle models from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. The LAI retrieval algorithm is based on Deng et al. [2006. Algorithm for global leaf area index retrieval using satellite imagery. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 44, 2219-2229], which uses the 4-scale radiative transfer model [Chen, J.M., Leblancs, 1997. A 4-scale bidirectional reflection model based on canopy architecture. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 35, 1316-1337] to simulate the relationship of LAI with vegetated surface reflectance measured from space for various spectral bands and solar and view angles. This algorithm has been integrated to the MODISoft platform, a software system designed for processing MODIS data, to generate 250 m, 500 m and 1 km resolution LAI products covering all of China from MODIS MOD02 or MOD09 products. The multi-temporal interpolation method was implemented to remove the residual cloud and other noise in the final LAI product so that it can be directly used in carbon models without further processing. The retrieval uncertainties from land cover data were evaluated using five different data sets available in China. The results showed that mean LAI discrepancies can reach 27%. The current product was also compared with the NASA MODIS MOD15 LAI product to determine the agreement and disagreement of two different product series. LAI values in the MODIS product were found to be 21% larger than those in the new product. These LAI products were compared against ground TRAC measurements in forests in Qilian Mountain and Changbaishan. On average, the new LAI product agrees with the field measurement in Changbaishan within 2%, but the MODIS product is positively biased by about 20%. In Qilian Mountain, where forests are sparse, the new product is lower than field measurements by about 38%, while the MODIS product is larger by about 65%.
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