Multi-Sensor Vegetation Index and Land Surface Phenology Earth Science Data Records in Support of Global Change Studies: Data Quality Challenges and Data Explorer System
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSynoptic global remote sensing provides a multitude of land surface state variables. The continuous collection, for more than 30 years, of global observations has contributed to the creation of a unique and long term satellite imagery archive from different sensors. These records have become an invaluable source of data for many environmental and global change related studies. The problem, however, is that they are not readily available for use in research and application environment and require multiple preprocessing. Here, we looked at the daily global data records from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), two of the most widely available and used datasets, with the objective of assessing their quality and suitability to support studies dealing with global trends and changes at the land surface. Findings show that clouds are the major data quality inhibitors, and that the MODIS cloud masking algorithm performs better than the AVHRR. Results show that areas of high ecological importance, like the Amazon, are most prone to lack of data due to cloud cover and aerosols leading to extended periods of time with no useful data, sometimes months. While the standard approach to these challenges has been compositing of daily images to generate a representative map over a preset time periods, our results indicate that preset compositing is not the optimal solution and a hybrid location dependent method that preserves the high frequency of these observations over the areas where clouds are not as prevalent works better. Using this data quality information the Vegetation Index and Phenology (VIP) Laboratory at The University of Arizona produced over 30 years of seamless sensor independent record of vegetation indices and land surface phenology metrics. These data records consist of 0.05-degree resolution global images for daily, 7-days, 15-days and monthly temporal frequency. These sort of remote sensing based products are normally made available through the internet by large data centers, like the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), however, in this project an online tool, the VIP Data Explorer, was developed to support the visualization, exploration, and distribution of these Earth Science Data Records (ESDRs) keeping it closer to the data generation center which provides a more active data support and distribution model. This web application has made it possible for users to explore and evaluate the products suite before download and use.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering