Li, MY; Zhu, XF; Li, N; Pan, YZ (2020). Gap-Filling of a MODIS Normalized Difference Snow Index Product Based on the Similar Pixel Selecting Algorithm: A Case Study on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. REMOTE SENSING, 12(7), 1077.

Cloud contamination has largely limited the application of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer(MODIS) normalized difference snow index (NDSI). Here, a novel gap-filling method based on spatial-temporal similar pixel interpolation was proposed to remove cloud occlusions in MODIS NDSI products. First, the widely used Terra and Aqua combination and three-day temporal filter methods were applied. The remaining missing NDSI information was estimated by using similar eligible pixels in the remaining cloud-free portion of a target image through a spatial-temporal similar pixel selecting algorithm (SPSA). The MODIS daily NDSI product data from 2003 to 2018 in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China) was used as a case study. The results demonstrate that the three-step methodology can generate almost completely cloud-free, daily MODIS NDSI images, reducing the cloud-gap fraction from >45% to less than 1.5% on average. The validation results of the SPSA method exhibited a high accuracy, with a high R-2 exceeding 0.78, a low mean absolute error of 2.77%, a root mean square error of 3.78%, and a 96.92% overall accuracy. The proposed method can fill cloud gaps without a significant loss of accuracy, especially during snow cover transition periods (autumn and spring), which may provide more accurate cloud-free NDSI data for climate change and energy balance studies.