mapping photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) using multiple remote sensing data

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zheng, tao
Liang, Shunlin
Incident Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) is an important parameter for terrestrial ecosystem models. Presently, deriving PAR using remotely sensed data is the only practical approach to meet the needs for large scale ecosystem modeling. The usefulness of the currently available PAR products is constricted by their limited spatial and temporal resolution. In addition, the applicability of the existing algorithms for deriving PAR using remotely sensed data are limited by their requirements for external atmospheric information. This study develops new algorithms to estimate incident PAR using remotely sensed data from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite), and AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer). The new PAR algorithms differ from existing algorithms in that the new algorithms derive surface properties and atmospheric optical properties using time-series of at-sensor radiance without external atmospheric information. First, a new PAR algorithm is developed for MODIS visible band data. The validity of the algorithm's underpinning theoretical basis is examined and associated errors are analyzed in light of their impact on PAR estimation accuracy. Second, the MODIS PAR algorithm is adapted to AVHRR in order to take advantage of the long data acquisition record of AVHRR. In addition, the scaling of remote sensing derived instantaneous PAR to daily PAR is addressed. Last, the new algorithm is extended to GOES visible band data. Two major improvements of GOES PAR algorithm over that of MODIS and AVHRR are the inclusion of the bi-directional reflectance distribution function for deriving surface reflectance, and the procedure for excluding cloud-shadowed pixels in searching for observations made under clear skies. Furthermore, the topographic impact on PAR is accessed and corrected. To assess the effectiveness of the newly developed PAR algorithms, validation efforts have been made using ground measurements made at FLUXNET sites. The validations indicate that the new PAR algorithms for MODIS, GOES, and AVHRR are capable of reaching reasonably high accuracy with no need for external atmospheric information. This work is the first attempt to develop a unified PAR estimation algorithm for both polar-orbiting and geostationary satellite data. The new algorithms developed in this study have been used to produce incident PAR over North America routinely to support the North America Carbon Program.