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Research Project: Leveraging Remote Sensing, Land Surface Modeling and Ground-based Observations ... Variables within Heterogeneous Agricultural Landscapes

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Title: Generating multi-scale albedo look-up maps using MODIS BRDF/Albedo products and landsat imagery

Author
item Gao, Feng
item He, Tao - University Of Maryland
item Wang, Zhuosen - University Of Massachusetts
item Ghimire, Bardan - Clark University
item Shuai, Yanmin - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item Masek, Jeffrey - National Aeronautics And Space Administration (NASA)
item Schaaf, Crystal - University Of Massachusetts
item Williams, Christopher - Clark University

Submitted to: Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2014
Publication Date: 11/5/2014
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/59892
Citation: Gao, F.N., He, T., Wang, Z., Ghimire, B., Shuai, Y., Masek, J., Schaaf, C., Williams, C. 2014. Generating multi-scale albedo look-up maps using MODIS BRDF/Albedo products and landsat imagery. Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters. 8(1) 083532 DOI: 10.1117/1.JRS.8.083532

Interpretive Summary: Land surface albedo, the ratio of reflected radiation to the total incoming incident radiation, is a key parameter for driving Earth’s climate. Better description of surface albedo for individual land cover types can reduce the uncertainty in estimating changes to Earth’s radiation balance due to land cover change. This letter presents new albedo and BRDF look-up maps (LUMs) built on ten years of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data products. Albedo LUMs of land cover classes defined by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) at multiple spatial resolutions were generated. The albedo LUMs were assessed by applying to the annual MODIS IGBP land cover maps and land use maps from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Land-Use Harmonization (LUH) project. Our results show that the MODIS albedo LUMs can be extended to the LUH land use map, which would allow investigating albedo variations for the past and projecting albedo changes for the future under different land use and land cover scenarios. Understanding the impacts of global and local land use and land cover changes is critical for developing sustainable agricultural systems for USDA.

Technical Abstract: Surface albedo determines radiative forcing and is a key parameter for driving Earth’s climate. Better characterization of surface albedo for individual land cover types can reduce the uncertainty in estimating changes to Earth’s radiation balance due to land cover change. This paper presents a multi-scale hierarchical approach to generate BRDF and albedo look-up maps (LUM) using MODIS BRDF/albedo products and the Global Land Survey (GLS) collection of Landsat imagery. Ten years (2001-2011) of MODIS BRDF/albedo products were used to generate global albedo climatology. Albedo LUMs of land cover classes defined by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) at multiple spatial resolutions were generated. The albedo LUMs included monthly statistics of white-sky and black-sky albedos of each IGBP class for visible, near infra-red and shortwave broadband under both snow-free and snow-covered conditions. In addition, the BRDF LUMs were generated for the snow-covered conditions. The albedo LUMs were assessed by applying the to the annual MODIS IGBP land cover map and land use maps from the IPCC Land-Use Harmonization (LUH) project. The comparisons between the modeled albedo and the MODIS albedo data product show good agreements. The overall biases and mean absolute differences are -0.002 and 0.009 under snow-free conditions, and are -0.001 and 0.028 under snow-covered conditions when compared to the MODIS monthly albedo in 2005. The modeled albedos from the MODIS IGBP map and the LUH map agree well for recent years. The differences of shortwave albedos are 0.001 and 0.002 for snow-free and snow-covered conditions in annual average. The capability of extending MODIS albedo LUMs to the LUH land use map would allow investigating albedo variations for the past and projecting albedo changes for the future under different land use and land cover scenarios. In addition, the LUMs provide high temporal and spatial resolution global albedo statistics for land surface modeling. The albedo and BRDF LUMs are now freely available from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.