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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Large area mapping of southwestern forest crown cover, canopy height, and biomass using the NASA Multiangle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer

Authors
item Chopping, Mark - MONTCLAIR STATE UNIV
item Moisen, Gretchen - USDA FOREST SERVICE
item Su, Lihong - MONTCLAIR STATE UNIV
item Laliberte, Andrea - NEW MEXICO STATE UNVI
item Rango, Albert
item Martonchik, John - NASA JET PROPULSON LAB
item Peters, Debra

Submitted to: Remote Sensing of Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 27, 2007
Publication Date: March 27, 2008
Citation: Chopping, M., Moisen, G., Su, L., Laliberte, A., Rango, A., Martonchik, J., Peters, D.C. 2008. Large area mapping of southwestern forest crown cover, canopy height, and biomass using the NASA Multiangle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer. Remote Sensing of Environment. 112:2051-2063.

Interpretive Summary: Use of visible and near infrared satellite dta to map forest crown Use of visible and near infrared satellite data to map forest crown cover, canopy height, and biomass has not been successful because no height or volume data can be extracted. We have used the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) on board the Terra Satellite coupled with a simple geometric-optical canopy reflectance model to measure the same forest properties. The MISR obtains nine different view angles in four spectral bands. Using this approach, good matches to existing ground and map data with R2 values of 0.78, 0.69, and 0.81 for forest canopy cover, canopy height, and biomass for forested areas were obtained. This is the first use of MISR to measure the structural effects of canopies which can be used for new mapping and updating approaches by user agencies.

Technical Abstract: A rapid canopy reflectance model inversion experiment was performed using multiangle reflectance data from the NASA Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) on the Earth Observing System Terra satellite, with the goal of obtaining measures of forest fractional crown cover, mean canopy height, and biomass for parts of S.E. Arizona and S. New Mexico (>200,000 km2). MISR red band bidirectional reflectance estimates in nine views mapped to a 250 m grid were used to adjust the Simple Geometric-optical Model (SGM). The soil-understory background signal was decoupled a priori by developing regression relationships with the nadir camera blue, green, and near-infrared reflectance data and the isotropic, geometric, and volume scattering kernel weights of the LiSparse-RossThin kernel-driven bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) model, adjusted against MISR red band data. The SGM’s mean crown radius and crown shape parameters were adjusted using the Praxis optimization algorithm, allowing retrieval of fractional crown cover, mean canopy height and their dot product, a coarse surrogate for biomass. Retrieved distributions these parameters for forested areas showed good matches with maps from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, with R2 values of 0.76, 0.58 and 0.53, post-filtering for high root mean square error (RMSE) and cloud/cloud-shadow contamination. Some areas with important shrub cover are predicted to have low or no woody plant cover, indicating the need to adjust the background calibration and reflecting the difficulty of estimating canopy parameters in low cover environments. This is the first attempt to use data from MISR to produce maps of crown cover, canopy height, and biomass over a large area by seeking to exploit the structural effects of canopies reflected in the observed anisotropy patterns in these explicitly multiangle data.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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