Wang, DW, Wang, JD, Liang, SL (2010). Retrieving crop leaf area index by assimilation of MODIS data into a crop growth model. SCIENCE CHINA-EARTH SCIENCES, 53(5), 721-730.
Leaf area index (LAI) is an important parameter in monitoring crop growth. One of the methods for retrieving LAI from remotely sensed observations is through inversion of canopy reflectance models. Many model inversion methods fail to account for variable LAI values at different crop growth stages. In this research, we use the crop growth model to describe the LAI changes with crop growth, and consider a priori LAI values at different crop growth stages as constraint information. The key approach of this research is to assimilate multiple canopy reflectance values observed at different growth stages and a priori LAI values into a coupled crop growth and radiative transfer model sequentially using a variational data assimilation algorithm. Adjoint method is used to minimize the cost function. Any other information source can be easily incorporated into the inversion cost function. The validation results show that the time series of MODIS canopy reflectance can greatly reduce the uncertainty of the inverted LAI values. Compared with MODIS LAI product at Changping and Shunyi Counties of Beijing, this method has significantly improved the estimated LAI temporal profile.