Hao, DL; Wen, JG; Xiao, Q; You, DQ; Tang, Y (2020). An Improved Topography-Coupled Kernel-Driven Model for Land Surface Anisotropic Reflectance. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING, 58(4), 2833-2847.

The semiempirical kernel-driven model is commonly used for global surface reflectance characterization because of its simplicity and underlying physical meaning. However, the current kernel-driven reflectance models assume that the terrain is flat and homogeneous, and can induce significant errors in the surface reflectance estimation and subsequent parameter retrievals over rugged terrain. In this study, an improved topography-coupled kernel-driven (TCKD) reflectance model with the correction of diffuse skylight effects was proposed based on the diffused-equivalent slope model (dESM) and RossThick-LiTransit (RTLT) kernel-driven model. The TCKD model's accuracy and effectiveness were evaluated using surface reflectance simulated by the radiosity approach and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. Against simulated data, the results show that the TCKD model can accurately capture the distortion of the reflectance shape and hemispherical distribution caused by the topographic effects. Compared to MODIS data, the TCKD model has an overall better performance than the RTLT model across different spatial scales and land cover types. When the mean slope is larger than 35 degrees at the 500-m resolution, the TCKD model's near-infrared (NIR) root-mean-square error (RMSE) and the regression slope of the fitting line are 0.037 and 0.752, respectively, whereas those of the RTLT model are 0.049 and 0.645. Neglecting the diffuse skylight in the TCKD model can also lead to great bias in the reflectance retrievals. When the mean slope is 31 degrees, as the ratio of diffuse skylight varies from 0 to 1, the NIR RMSE of the TCKD model decreases from 0.012 to 0.005, whereas that increases from 0.012 to around 0.02 if the diffuse skylight effects are neglected. These preliminary results demonstrate that the TCKD model is capable of improving the fitting ability of the kernel-driven model over rugged terrain and provides potentials for better retrieving and interpreting land surface parameters such as land surface albedo in mountainous areas.