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Proceedings Paper

Towards the development of a 30 year record of remotely sensed vegetation optical depth
Author(s): Richard A. M. de Jeu; Thomas R. H. Holmes; Guido van der Werf
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Paper Abstract

The framework for the development of a 30 year global record of remotely sensed vegetation optical depth is presented. The vegetation data set is derived from passive microwave observations and spans the period from November 1978 through the end of 2008. Different satellite sensor observations (i.e. Nimbus-7 SMMR, DMSP SSM/I, TRMM TMI, and AQUA AMSR-E). are used in a radiative transfer model to derive vegetation optical depth. Vegetation optical depth can directly be related to vegetation water content and is a function of biomass. The retrieval model is described and the quality of the retrieved vegetation optical depth is discussed. The new dataset will be merged into one consistent global product for the entire period of data record. To explore the potential to use this new product for long term vegetation modeling, the product was compared to total biomass from the biogeochemical model CASA. The results indicate that the vegetation optical depth can be an important contribution to the derivation of biophysical properties like biomass. It can also increase the reliability of optical sensor derived vegetation indices, because the microwave vegetation optical depth can be derived under cloudy conditions. This unique feature could create the possibility to improve the temporal resolution of other biophysical data products. The entire vegetation density dataset will be made available for download by the general science community and could give a significant contribution in climate research.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7472, Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XI, 74720R (18 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.830230
Show Author Affiliations
Richard A. M. de Jeu, Vrije Univ. Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Thomas R. H. Holmes, USDA Hydrology and Remote Sensing Lab. (United States)
Guido van der Werf, Vrije Univ. Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7472:
Remote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XI
Christopher M. U. Neale; Antonino Maltese, Editor(s)

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