Title: Towards a High Spatial Resolution Limit for Pixel-Based Interpretations of Optical Remote Sensing Data
Citation: ADVANCES IN SPACE RESEARCH vol. 41 p. 1724-1732
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC40009
ISSN: 0273-1177
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC40009
DOI: 10.1016/j.asr.2007.03.092
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The divergence of horizontal radiation in vegetation canopies is generally considered to be of negligible consequence in algorithms designed for the physically-based interpretation of space borne observations. However, non-zero horizontal radiation balances are likely to occur if the internal variability of a vegetation target and the typical distances that photons may travel horizontally within such three-dimensional (3-D) media extend to spatial scales that are similar to or larger than those of the nominal footprint of the measuring sensor. Detailed radiative transfer simulations in 3-D coniferous forest environments are presented to document the typical distances that photons may travel in such media, and to quantify the impact that the resulting net horizontal fluxes may have with respect to the local and domain-averaged canopy reflectance. Based on these simulations it is possible to identify a fine spatial resolution limit beyond which pixel-based interpretations of remote sensing data over tall forested areas should be avoided because the horizontal radiation transport at the surface may contribute to 10% or more of the measured reflectance signature of the target pixel.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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