Fang, HL, Liang, SL, Townshend, JR, Dickinson, RE (2008). Spatially and temporally continuous LAI data sets based on an integrated filtering method: Examples from North America. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 112(1), 75-93.
Leaf Area Index (LAI) is an important biophysical variable for characterizing the land surface vegetation. Global LAI product has been routinely produced from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra and Aqua satellite platforms. However, the MODIS standard LAI product is not continuous both spatially and temporally. To fill the gaps and improve the quality, we have developed a data filtering algorithm. This filter, called the temporal spatial filter (TSF), integrates both spatial and temporal characteristics for different plant functional types. The spatial gaps are first filled with the multi-year averages of the same day. If the values are missing over all years, the pixel is filled with a new estimate using the vegetation continuous field-ecosystem curve fitting method. The TSF integrates both the multi-seasonal average trend (background) and the seasonal observation. We implement this algorithm using the MODIS Collection 4 LAI product over North America. Comparison of the TSF results with the Savitzky-Golay filter indicates that the TSF performs much better in restoring the spatial and temporal distribution of seasonal LAI trends. The new LAI product has been validated by comparing with field measurements and the derived LAI maps from ETM+ data at a broadleaf forest site and an agricultural site. The validation results indicate that the new LAI product agrees better with both the field measurements and LAI values obtained from the ETM+ than does the MODIS LAI standard product, which usually shows higher LAI values. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.