Propastin, P; Kappas, M (2012). Retrieval of Coarse-Resolution Leaf Area Index over the Republic of Kazakhstan Using NOAA AVHRR Satellite Data and Ground Measurements. REMOTE SENSING, 4(1), 220-246.
A new multi-decade national-wide coarse-resolution data set of leaf area index (LAI) over the Republic of Kazakhstan has been developed based on data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and in situ measurements of vegetation structure. The Kazakhstan-wide LAI product has been retrieved using an algorithm based on a physical radiative transfer model establishing a relationship between LAI and given patterns of surface reflectance, view-illumination conditions and optical properties of vegetation at the per-pixel scale. The results revealed high consistencies between the produced AVHRR LAI data set and ground truth information and the 30-m resolution Landsat ETM+ LAI estimated using the similar algorithm. Differences in LAI between the AVHRR-based product and the Landsat ETM+-based product are lower than 0.4 LAI units in terms of RMSE. The produced Kazakhstan-wide LAI was also compared with the global 8-km AVHRR LAI (LAI_PAL_BU_V3) and 1-km MODIS LAI (MOD15A2 LAI) products. Results show remarkable consistency of the spatial distribution and temporal dynamics between the new LAI product and both examined global LAI products. However, the results also revealed several discrepancies in LAI estimates when comparing the global and the Kazakhstan-wide products. The discrepancies in LAI estimates were outlined and discussed.