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Evaluation of MODIS Land Cover and LAI Products in Cropland of North China Plain Using In Situ Measurements and Landsat TM Images

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8 Author(s)

Global maps of land cover and leaf area index (LAI) from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) are available from the earth resources observation system data center. Validation of these MODIS terrestrial products is crucial for scientific research. Numerous pre- and postlaunch validation activities have been completed during the last several years. However, such work was mainly located in North America, Europe, and Africa. The validated vegetation types were principally focused on woodland and savanna. In this paper, we evaluated the Collection 3 MODIS land cover (MOD12Q1) and the Collection 4 MODIS LAI (MOD15A2) products in the North China Plain (NCP). We placed the emphasis on croplands by: (1) developing an accurate land cover map, based on the MODIS LAI/fraction of photosynthetically active radiation land cover classification scheme; (2) deriving empirical LAI validation maps, based on in situ measurement and landsat thematic mapper imagery; and (3) conducting an initial MODIS validation exercise to assess the quality of MODIS products. The results indicate that an apparent misclassification exists between grasses/cereal crop and broadleaf crop biomes in the MODIS land cover product. Although MODIS LAI could resemble the general pattern of the LAI seasonal vegetation variation in the NCP, the MODIS LAI algorithm markedly underestimated LAI values (down to 2-3 m2/m2) for the April 2004 winter wheat cropland. Biome misclassification and the atmospheric effect of cloud or aerosol were proven to decrease the value of MODIS LAI, but these impacts cannot fully explain the significant underestimation. Additional studies are needed to understand the main reasons for this underestimation in the study area.

Published in:

Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2007

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