Downscaling time series of MERIS full resolution data to monitor vegetation seasonal dynamics

R. Zurita Milla, G. Kaiser, J.G.P.W. Clevers, W. Schneider, M.E. Schaepman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Monitoring vegetation dynamics is fundamental for improving Earth system models and for increasing our understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle and the interactions between biosphere and climate. Medium spatial resolution sensors, like MERIS, exhibit a significant potential to study these dynamics over large areas because of their spatial, spectral and temporal resolution. However, the spatial resolution provided by MERIS (300 m in full resolution mode) is not appropriate to monitor heterogeneous landscapes, where typical length scales of these dynamics rarely reach 300 m. We, therefore, motivate the use of data fusion techniques to downscale medium spatial resolution data (MERIS full resolution, FR) to a Landsat-like spatial resolution (25 m). An unmixing-based data fusion approach was applied to a time series of MERIS FR images acquired over The Netherlands. The selected data fusion approach is based on the linear mixing model and uses a high spatial resolution land use database to produce images having the spectral and temporal resolution as provided by MERIS, but a Landsat-like spatial resolution. A quantitative assessment of the quality of the fused images was done in order to test the validity of the proposed method and to evaluate the radiometric characteristics of the MERIS fused images. The resulting series of fused images was subsequently used to compute two vegetation indices specifically designed for MERIS: the MERIS terrestrial chlorophyll index (MTCI) and the MERIS global vegetation index (MGVI). These indices represent continuous fields of canopy chlorophyll (MTCI) and of the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by the canopy (MGVI). Results indicate that the selected data fusion approach can be successfully used to downscale MERIS data and, therefore, to monitor vegetation dynamics at Landsat-like spatial, and MERIS-like spectral and temporal resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1874-1885
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • multiresolution image fusion
  • land-cover
  • species richness
  • brazilian amazon
  • cloud-cover
  • tm images
  • index
  • avhrr
  • model
  • sensor

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Downscaling time series of MERIS full resolution data to monitor vegetation seasonal dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this