Comparisons of MODIS Vegetation Index Products with Biophysical and Flux Tower Measurements
AdvisorHuete, Dr. Alfredo R.
Committee ChairHuete, Dr. Alfredo R.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractVegetation indices (VI ) play an important role in studies of global climate and biogeochemical cycles, and are also positively related to many biophysical parameters and satellite products. In this study we found that VI's had strong relationships with some biophysical products, such as gross primary production, yet were less well correlated with biophysical structural parameters, such as leaf area index. The relationships between MODIS VI's and biophysical field measured LAI showed poor correlation at semi-arid land and broadleaf forest land cover type whereas cropland showed stronger correlations than the other vegetation types. Comparisons of the relationships between the EVI and NDVI with tower-measured GPP from 11 flux towers in North America, showed that MODIS EVI had much stronger relationships with tower-GPP than did NDVI, and EVI was better correlated with the seasonal dynamics of GPP than was NDVI. In addition, there were no significant differences among the 1x1, 3x3 and 7x7 pixel sample sizes. The comparisons of VIs from the 3 MODIS products from which VI's are generated (Standard VI (MOD13), Nadir Adjusted Surface Reflectance (NBAR (MOD43)), and Surface Reflectance (MOD09)), showed that MODIS NBAR-EVI (MOD43) was best correlated with GPP compared with the other VI products.The relationship of tower-GPP with other MODIS products would be useful in more thorough characterization of some land cover types in which the VI's have encountered problems. The land surface temperature (LST) product were found useful for empirical estimations of GPP in needleleaf forests, but were not useful for the other land cover types, whereas the land surface water index (LSWI) was more sensitive to noise from snowmelt, ground water table levels, and wet soils than to the canopy moisture levels. MODIS EVI was better correlated with LST than was NDVI. The cross- site comparisons of GPP and multi- products from MODIS showed that the relationships between EVI and GPP were the strongest while LST and GPP was the weakest. EVI may thus be useful in scaling across landscapes, including heterogeneous ones, for regional estimations of GPP, especially if BRDF effects have been taken into account (such as with the NBAR product).
Degree ProgramSoil, Water and Environmental Science