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Kuusinen, N; Tomppo, E; Berninger, F (2013). Linear unmixing of MODIS albedo composites to infer subpixel land cover type albedos. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED EARTH OBSERVATION AND GEOINFORMATION, 23, 324-333.

We use a linear unmixing approach to test how land use and forestry maps, in combination with the MODIS BRDF/albedo product, can be used to estimate land cover type albedos in boreal regions. Operational land use maps from three test areas in Finland and Canada were used to test the method. The resulting endmember albedo estimates had low standard errors of the mean and were realistic for the main land cover types. The estimated albedos were fairly consistent with albedo measurements conducted with a telescope mast and pure pixel albedos. Problems with the method are the possible errors in the land cover maps, lack of good quality winter MODIS albedo composites and the mismatch between the MODIS pixels and the true observation area. The results emphasize the role of tree species as determinant of forest albedo. Comprehensive spatial and temporal measurements of land cover albedo are usually not possible with in situ mast measurements, and the spatial resolution of MODIS albedo product is often too low to allow direct comparison of pixel albedos and land cover types in areas with heterogeneous vegetation. Hence, and since local forestry maps exist for most temperate and boreal regions, we believe that the proposed method will be useful in estimating average regional land cover type albedos as well as in tracking changes in them. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



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