This paper, the first of two-part series, details the procedures used to assess uncertainty of the MODIS LAI product. LAI retrievals from 30 m ETM+ data were first compared to field measurements from the SAFARI 2000 wet season campaign. The ETM+ based LAI map was thus as a reference to specify uncertainties in the LAI fields produced from MODIS data (250-, 500-, and 1000-m resolutions) simulated from ETM+. Because of high variance of LAI measurements over short distances and difficulties of matching measurements and image data, a patch-by-patch comparison method, which is more realistically implemented on a routine basis for validation, is proposed.
Consistency between LAI retrievals from 30 m ETM+ data and field measurements indicates satisfactory performance of the algorithm. Values of LAI estimated from a spatially heterogeneous scene depend strongly on the spatial resolution of the image scene. The results indicate that the MODIS algorithm will underestimate LAI values by about 5% over the Maun site if the scale of the algorithm is not matched to the resolution of the data.
- satellite images
- MODIS LAI
- leaf area index