Estimating winter wheat biomass by assimilating leaf area index derived from fusion of Landsat-8 and MODIS data


Dong, T., Liu, J., Qian, B., Zhao, T., Jing, Q., Geng, X., Wang, J., Huffman, T., Shang, J. (2016). Estimating winter wheat biomass by assimilating leaf area index derived from fusion of Landsat-8 and MODIS data. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, [online] 49 63-74.


A sufficient number of satellite acquisitions in a growing season are essential for deriving agronomic indicators, such as green leaf area index (GLAI), to be assimilated into crop models for crop productivity estimation. However, for most high resolution orbital optical satellites, it is often difficult to obtain images frequently due to their long revisit cycles and unfavorable weather conditions. Data fusion algorithms, such as the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) and the Enhanced STARFM (ESTARFM), have been developed to generate synthetic data with high spatial and temporal resolution to address this issue. In this study, we evaluated the approach of assimilating GLAI into the Simple Algorithm for Yield Estimation model (SAFY) for winter wheat biomass estimation. GLAI was estimated using the two-band Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI2) derived from data acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) onboard the Landsat-8 and a fusion dataset generated by blending the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data and the OLI data using the STARFM and ESTARFM models. The fusion dataset had the temporal resolution of the MODIS data and the spatial resolution of the OLI data. Key parameters of the SAFY model were optimised through assimilation of the estimated GLAI into the crop model using the Shuffled Complex Evolution-University of Arizona (SCE-UA) algorithm. A good agreement was achieved between the estimated and field measured biomass by assimilating the GLAI derived from the OLI data (GLAIL) alone (R2 = 0.77 and RMSE = 231 g m−2). Assimilation of GLAI derived from the fusion dataset (GLAIF) resulted in a R2 of 0.71 and RMSE of 193 g m−2 while assimilating the combination of GLAIL and GLAIF led to further improvements (R2 = 0.76 and RMSE = 176 g m−2). Our results demonstrated the potential of using the fusion algorithms to improve crop growth monitoring and crop productivity estimation when the number of high resolution remote sensing data acquisitions is limited.

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