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Title: Fitting the multitemporal curve: a fourier series approach to the missing data problem in remote sensing analysis

Author: Brooks, Evan; Thomas, Valerie; Randolph, Wynne; Coulston, John;

Date: 2012

Source: IEEE Transactions on GeoScience and Remote Sensing 50(9):3340–3353

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: With the advent of free Landsat data stretching back decades, there has been a surge of interest in utilizing remotely sensed data in multitemporal analysis for estimation of biophysical parameters. Such analysis is confounded by cloud cover and other image-specific problems, which result in missing data at various aperiodic times of the year. While there is a wealth of information contained in remotely sensed time series, the analysis of such time series is severely limited due to the missing data. This paper illustrates a technique which can greatly expand the possibilities of such analysis, a Fourier regression algorithm, here on time series of normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVIs) for Landsat pixels with a 30-m resolution. It compares the results with those using the spatial and temporal adaptive reflectance fusion model (STAR-FM), a popular approach that depends on having MODIS pixels with resolutions of 250 m or coarser. STAR-FM uses changes in the MODIS pixels as a template for predicting changes in the Landsat pixels. Fourier regression had an R2 of at least 90% over three quarters of all pixels, and it had the highest R2Predicted values (compared to STAR-FM) on two thirds of the pixels. The typical root-mean-square error for Fourier regression fitting was about 0.05 for NDVI, ranging from 0 to 1. This indicates that Fourier regression may be used to interpolate missing data for multitemporal analysis at the Landsat scale, especially for annual or longer studies.

Keywords: Data fusion, disturbance, harmonic analysis, interpolation, phenology, time series

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Brooks, E.B.; Thomas, V.A.; Wynne, R.H.; Coulston, J.W. 2012. Fitting the multitemporal curve: a fourier series approach to the missing data problem in remote sensing analysis. IEEE Transactions on GeoScience and Remote Sensing 50(9):3340–3353.


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