An integrated approach for high spatial resolution mapping of water and carbon fluxes using multi-sensor satellite data

Carmelo Cammalleri, Martha C. Anderson, Rasmus Houborg, Feng Gao, William P. Kustas, Mitchell Schull

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In the last years, modeling of surface processes - such as water, energy and carbon budgets, as well as vegetation growth - seems to be focused on integrated approaches that combine aspects of hydrology, biology and meteorology into unified analyses. In this context, remotely sensed data often have a core role due to the cross-cutting impact of this novel source of spatially distributed information on all these research areas. However, several applications - such as drought monitoring, yield forecasting and crop management - require spatially detailed products at sub-field scales, which can be obtained only with support of adequately fine resolution remote sensing data (< 100 m). In particular, observations in the visible to the near infrared (VIS/NIR) spectral region can be used to derive biophysical and biochemical properties of the vegetation (i.e., leaf area index and leaf chlorophyll). Complementarily, the thermal infrared (TIR) signal provides valuable information about land surface temperature, which in turn represents an accurate proxy indicator of the subsurface moisture status by means of surface energy budget analysis. Additionally, the strong link between crop water stress and stomatal closure allows inference of crop carbon assimilation using the same tools. In this work, an integrated approach is proposed to model both carbon and water budgets at field scale by means of a joint use of a thermal-based Two Source Energy Budget (TSEB) model and an analytical, Light-Use-Efficiency (LUE) based model of canopy resistance. This suite of models allows integration of information retrieved by both fine and coarse resolution satellites by means of a data fusion procedure. A set of Landsat and MODIS images are used to investigate the suitability of this approach, and the modeled fluxes are compared with observations made by several flux towers in terms of both water and carbon fluxes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRemote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XIV
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventRemote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XIV Conference - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 24 2012Sep 26 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherRemote Sensing for Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Hydrology XIV Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Data fusion
  • Optical bands
  • Surface energy balance
  • Thermal infrared

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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