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MODIS tasselled cap: land cover characteristics expressed through transformed MODIS data

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The tasselled cap concept is extended to Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Nadir BRDF-Adjusted Reflectance (NBAR, MOD43) data. The transformation is based on a rigid rotation of principal component axes (PCAs) derived from a global sample spanning one full year of NBAR 16-day composites. To provide a standard for MODIS tasselled cap axes, we recommend an orientation in MODIS spectral band space as similar as possible to the orientation of the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) tasselled cap axes. To achieve this we first transformed our global sample of MODIS NBAR reflectance values to TM tasselled cap values using the existing TM transformation, then used an existing algorithm (Procrustes) to compute the transformation that minimizes the mean square difference between the TM transformed NBAR values and NBAR PCA values. This transformation can then be used as a standard to rotate the MODIS NBAR PCA axes into a new MODIS Kauth-Thomas (KT) orientation. Global land cover patterns in tasselled cap space are demonstrated graphically by linking the global sample with several other products, including the MODIS Land Cover product (MOD12) and the MODIS Vegetation Continuous Fields product (MOD44). Patterns seen at this global scale agree with previous explorations of TM tasselled cap space, but are shown here in greater detail with a globally representative sample. Temporal trends of eight smaller-scale BigFoot Project ( sites were also examined, confirming the spectral shifts in tasselled cap space related to phenology.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331 2: Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Corvallis, OR 97331

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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