Duveiller, G; Baret, F; Defourny, P (2013). Using Thermal Time and Pixel Purity for Enhancing Biophysical Variable Time Series: An Interproduct Comparison. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 51(4), 2119-2127.
This paper presents a multiannual comparison at regional scale of currently available 1-km global leaf area index (LAI) products with crop-specific green area index (GAI) retrieved from 250-m spatial resolution imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The crop-specific GAI product benefits from the following extra processing steps: 1) spatial filtering of time series based on pixel purity; 2) transforming the time scale to thermal time; and 3) fitting a canopy structural dynamic model to smooth out the signal. In order to perform a rigorous comparison, these steps were also applied to the 1-km LAI products, namely, MODIS LAI (MCD15) and LAI produced in the CYCLOPES (Carbon cYcle and Change in Land Observational Products from an Ensemble of Satellites) project. A simple indicator was also designed to quantify the increase in temporal smoothness that can thus be obtained. The results confirm that, for winter wheat, the 250-m GAI product provides a more realistic description of the time course of the biophysical variable in terms of reaching higher values, grasping the variability, and providing smoother time series. However, the use of thermal time and pixel purity also improves the temporal consistency and coherence of the 1-km products. Overall, the results of this study suggest that these techniques could be valuable in harmonizing remote sensing data coming from different sources with varying spatial and temporal resolution for enhanced vegetation monitoring.