Baret, F, Morissette, JT, Fernandes, RA, Champeaux, JL, Myneni, RB, Chen, J, Plummer, S, Weiss, M, Bacour, C, Garrigues, S, Nickeson, JE (2006). Evaluation of the representativeness of networks of sites for the global validation and intercomparison of land biophysical products: Proposition of the CEOS-BELMANIP. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 44(7), 1794-1803.
This study investigates the representativeness of land cover and leaf area index (LAI) sampled by a global network of sites to be used for the evaluation of land biophysical products, such as LAI or fAPAR, derived from current satellite systems. The networks of sites considered include 100 sites where ground measurements of LAI or fAPAR have been performed for the validation of medium resolution satellite land biophysical products, 188 FLUXNET sites and 52 AERONET sites. All the sites retained had less than 25% of water bodies within a 8 x 8 km(2) window, and were separated by more than 20 km. The ECOCLIMAP global classification was used to quantify the representativeness of the networks. It allowed describing the Earth's surface with seven main types and proposed a climatology for monthly LAI values at a spatial resolution around 1 km. The site distribution indicates a large over representation of the northern midlatitudes; relative to other regions, and an under-representation of bare surfaces, grass, and evergreen broadleaf forests. These three networks represent all together 295 sites after elimination of sites that were too close. They were thus completed by 76 additional sites to improve the representativeness in latitude, longitude, and surface type. This constitutes the BELMANIP network proposed as a benchmark for intercomparison of land biophysical products. Suitable approaches to conducting intercomparison at the sites are recommended.