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Remote Sensing in Support of NACP Jeffrey G. Masek Biospheric Sciences, NASA GSFC January 23, 2007. Outline. Introduction : Remote Sensing in the NACP Progress : Current activities and successes Gaps: What’s missing. Reconcile (?). CMDL. OCO. Aircraft. Top Down / Bottom Up.

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Remote Sensing in Support of NACP

Jeffrey G. Masek

Biospheric Sciences, NASA GSFC

January 23, 2007


  • Introduction: Remote Sensing in the NACP

  • Progress: Current activities and successes

  • Gaps: What’s missing

Reconcile (?)




Top Down / Bottom Up


(top down)

Atmospheric Transport Models

Land-Atmos C Flux

Land-Atmos C Flux


Process Formulation




Land-Atmos C Flux

BGC / Carbon Accounting Models


(bottom up)

Satellite, Ecology, Inventory Data

Disturbance/ Land Use Change


Biomass/Carbon Stocks


Climate & Biophysics:

VI, fPAR, LAI, Phytoplankton

Tsurf, Freeze/thaw

(MODIS, Seawifs, AVHRR…)

CO2, CH4 sampling

(OCO, A/C)

Timescales of NACP






Biome migration

Stress, LUE physiology

Interannual climate

Atmospheric CO2 transport

Ecosystem Disturbance

Forest recovery

Flux tower observations

NPP, NEP diagnostic modeling

NPP, NEP prognostic modeling

Progress to Date

5-10 years of EOS products, 26+ years of AVHRR, 35 years of Landsat data available

“Remote Sensing in NACP” Workshop, UMT, Aug 2004

MODIS standard products becoming easier to use

* ACCESS gap-filling, smoothing (Morisette)

* DC-MAST (Cook)

New products to support continental BGC modeling

* Disturbance (Landast/MODIS; Goward, Masek, Townsend)

* Freeze-thaw dynamics (SeaWinds; McDonald)

* Northern Wetlands (JERS, Moghaddam)

* Biomass (JERS, MODIS, GLAS; Saatchi, Kellendorfer)

* Crop Type (AWIFS; NASS)

* Fire Emissions (Giglio)

* Photosynthetically Active Radiation (MODIS, Liang)


PI: Jeff Morisette, NASA GSFC

Providing value-added MODIS data product to NACP investigators, including:- Reprojecting- Reformatting- Subsetting - Mosaicing- Stacking data through time- Updates for Collection 5 when available - Gap filling in both space and timePoster B.37 provides an update for this project


(black = missing)

(April 6, 2004)

Smoothed LAI

(April 6, 2004)

1 2 3 4 5 6

Integration with ornl daac visualization


TIMESAT Smoothed

Average of 49 1 km pixels

Center pixel with Flux Tower

Integration with ORNL DAAC visualization

Walker Branch Watershed


%disturbed / yr



Forest Disturbance

LEDAPS Project

PI: Jeff Masek (NASA GSFC)

NACP Data Cubes

PI: Samuel Goward (UMD)

Landsat-based records of North American forest disturbance

Landsat mapped forest change between 1987 and 2005 in western Oregon

(Goward/Huang, UMD)

North American Biomass western Oregon

J. Kellendorfer,


North American Biomass western Oregon

S. Saatchi (JPL) - Forest Woody Biomass Carbon Estimates of North America from Synergistic Analysis of MODIS, MISR, and JERS Data in Support of the North American Carbon Program

Current Activities (cont’d) western Oregon

NACP process studies integrating remote sensing

* AVHRR greenness trends (Tucker)

* Soil freeze/thaw dynamics (Zhang)

* Plant community mapping (Chopping)

* Woody encroachment and grazing (Asner)

* Boreal fire disturbance and succession (Kasischke)

* Photochemistry of coastal DOC (Miller)

…. and many more

New algorithms for biophysical variables

* Evapotranspiration (Ustin)

* Light-Use Efficiency (Middleton)

* Crop GPP (Gitelson)

* Coastal pCO2 (Hales)

Remote Sensing Coastal pCO2 western Oregon

Average of all MODIS SST and Chl, all Quickscat wind stress magnitude for NA west coast, 0.25° resolution (Burke Hales, OSU)




New Remote Sensing Missions western Oregon

Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)

* NASA ESSP mission, JPL lead

* passive, global column CO2

* 2008 launch

Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM)

* NASA/USGS mission, GSFC lead

* RFP released January 10, 2007

* continues 30m, multispectral heritage

* 2011 target launch date


Visible/Infrared Imager/Radiometer Suite (VIIRS)

* NOAA/NASA/DOD instrument, IPO lead

* continues global capabilities of AVHRR, MODIS

* will fly aboard NPP and NPOESS missions

* 2009 launch (NPP)

What’s Missing? western Oregon

1. Some useful information products for biogeochemical modeling are still missing

* Evapotranspiration, LUE (MODIS, Seawifs)

* Wetland extent, type, dynamics (SAR, MODIS, Landsat)

* Woody encroachment (Landsat, air photo, hyperspectral)

* Agricultural crop type (MODIS, Landsat)

* Permafrost / Arctic hydrology (SAR, MODIS)

* Foliar nitrogen (Hyperion)

  • Bridging the gap between algorithm development and continental products to support models

3. Support for “20-year time series” of measurements

* multi-instrument ESDR’s … coordination with NACP?

* need for annual Landsat land cover, disturbance, crops

* future data continuity (VIIRS, LDCM, etc)

What’s Missing? (cont’d) western Oregon

  • Analysis of error propagation – from remote sensing measurements to modeled fluxes

    • * Model intercomparisons at NEP level?

5. Understanding RS-detected trends and patterns in terms of underlying biology

  • Community familiarity with OCO products, and how to use them within NACP context

7. New models that capitalize on the current range of RS products – not just NDVI

Conclusions western Oregon

Remote Sensing essential for overarching NACP goal of continental carbon fluxes and attribution

Considerable progress since 2004 U. Montana workshop on

- data access

- product formats and usability

- carbon information needs from RS

Need to identify and prioritize the next set of RS activities to support NACP

Backup western Oregon