Hou, JL; Huang, CL; Zhang, Y; Guo, JF (2020). On the Value of Available MODIS and Landsat8 OLI Image Pairs for MODIS Fractional Snow Cover Mapping Based on an Artificial Neural Network. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 58(6), 4319-4334.

This article investigates how to select the optimal Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat 8 OLI image pairs for MODIS fractional snow cover (FSC) mapping using an artificial neural network (ANN). Four issues are discussed, including date selection, location selection, priority of date and location, and global and regional monitoring of MODIS FSC with ANNs. We propose using the histogram quadratic distance to define the similarity between the ANN training and the target test scene, which was used to quantify the representativeness of the training samples. We use the case study of MODIS FSC mapping of North Xinjiang, China, in the 2014-2015 snow season as an example. Thirty-eight experiments were designed. The experimental results demonstrate that the ANN-based FSC estimation accuracy outperformed the MODIS FSC product, with an average RMSE of 0.17, R exceeds 0.8, and the total snow cover area was estimated more accurately in most cases. For a target test scene, we preliminarily inferred that the best method is to develop an ANN using image pairs of another location with the highest similarity in the same acquisition time, using historical image pairs of the target scene with the highest similarity is the second choice, and using historical image pairs from another location with a high similarity is the third choice. For global- and regional-scale MODIS FSC mapping with ANNs, we formulated the strategy of initially determining a reasonable location and subsequently selecting the acquisition date of the image pairs to guarantee that the training data set represents the entire study area well.