Estimation of Land Photosynthetically Active Radiation in Clear Sky Using MODIS

  • Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China

Received date: 2003-09-11

  Revised date: 2003-11-27

  Online published: 2004-01-25

Supported by

The National 973 Program, No.2002CB4125; National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.90202002


Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) is a key variable required by almost all terrestrial ecosystem models. Unfortunately, the current incident PAR products estimated from remotely sensed data at spatial and temporal resolutions are not sufficient for carbon cycle modeling. In this paper, a method was proposed to retrieve land surface PAR from MODIS data in non-cloudy sky. Firstly, the maximum PAR in top of atmosphere was calculated in any place and at any time. Then the atmospheric parameters, vapor and aerosol, were estimated from MODIS data. Finally, the land surface PAR was computed by radiative transfer model using atmospheric parameters and sun geometrical information. The method was used to retrieve PAR in Shandong and the result was tested by the ground data in Yuncheng station of CERN with the error less than 10%.

Cite this article

LIU Ronggao, LIU Jiyuan, ZHUANG Dafang . Estimation of Land Photosynthetically Active Radiation in Clear Sky Using MODIS[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2004 , 59(1) : 64 -73 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200401008


[1] Running S, S T Gower. Forest-BGC, a general model of forest ecosystem processes for regional applications (II): dynamic allocation and nitrogen budgets. Tree Physio., 1991, 9(1): 147-160.

[2] Prince S D, S N Goward. Global primary production: a remote sensing approach. Journal of Biogeography, 1995, 22(5): 2829-2849.

[3] Foley J A, I C Prentice, N Ramankutty et al. An integrated biosphere model of land surface processes, terrestrial biosphere model of ecosystem dynamics. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 1996, 10(4): 603-628.

[4] Dickinson R E et al. Biosphere Atmosphere Transfer Scheme (BATS) Version 1 as coupled to the NCAR Community Climate Model. NCAR Technical Note, NCAR, 1993. 72pp.

[5] Sellers P, et al. A revised land surface parameterization (SiB2) for atmospheric GCMs (Part I): model formulation. Journal Climate, 1996, 9(4): 676-705.

[6] Ji Jinjun, Yu Li. A simulation study of coupled feedback mechanism between physical and biogeochemical processes at the surface. Chinese Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 1999, 23(4): 439-448.
[季劲钧, 余莉. 地表面物理过程与生物地球化学过程耦合反馈机理的模拟研究. 大气科学, 1999, 23(4): 439-448.]

[7] VEMAP members. VEMAP: a comparison of biogeography and biogeochemistry models in the context of global climate change. Global Biogeochemical Cycle, 1995, 9(3): 407-437.

[8] USCCP. An integrated carbon science program. US Global Change Research Program, 1999.

[9] Tian Hanqin. Dynamics of the terrestrial biosphere in changing global environments: date, models, and validations. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2002, 57(1): 47-56.
[田汉勤. 陆地生物圈动态模式: 生物系统模拟的发展趋势. 地理学报, 2002, 57(4): 379-388.]

[10] Zuo Dakang. Study on Earth Surface Radiation. Beijing: Science Press, 1991.
[左大康. 地球表层辐射研究. 北京: 科学出版社, 1991.]

[11] Li Z, Moreau L, Cihlar J. Estimation of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed at the surface. Journal of Geophysical Research, 1997, 102(D24): 29717-29727.

[12] Monteith J L. Solar radiation and productivity in tropical ecosystems. Journal of Application of Ecology, 1972, 9(4): 747-766.

[13] Knyazikhin Y et al. MODIS leaf area index (LAI) and fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation (FPAR) product (MOD15) algorithm theoretical basis document, Version 4, April 30, 1999.

[14] Sun Rui, Zhu Qijiang. Effect of climate change of terrestrial net primary productivity in China. Journal of Remote Sensing, 2001, 5(1): 58-62.
[孙睿, 朱启疆. 气候变化对中国陆地植被净第一性生产力影响的初步研究. 遥感学报, 2001, 5(1): 58-62.]

[15] Lin Zhonghui, Mo Xingguo, Li Hongxuan et al. Comparison of three spatial interpolation methods for climate variables in China. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2002, 57(1): 47-56.
[林忠辉, 莫兴国, 李宏轩 等. 中国陆地区域气象要素的空间插值. 地理学报, 2002, 51(1): 47-56.]

[16] Pinker R T, I Laszlo. Global distribution of photosynthetically active radiation as observed from satellites. Journal of Climate, 1992, 5(1): 56-65.

[17] Carder K et al. Instantaneous photosynthetically available radiation and absorbed radiation by phytoplankton, ATBD-MOD-20, V5, April, 1999.

[18] Darnell W, et al. Seasonal variation of surface radiation budget derived from International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project C1 data. Journal of Geophysical Research, 1992, 77(D14): 15741-15760.

[19] Frouin R et al. Algorithm to estimate PAR from SeaWiFS data, V1.0 - Documentation, 2000.

[20] Gu J, E A Smith. High-resolution estimates of total solar and PAR surface fluxes over large-scale BOREAS study area from GOES measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research, 1997, 102(D24): 29685-29706.

[21] Frouin R, R Pinker. Estimating photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at the earth's surface from satellite observations. Remote Sensing of Environment, 1995, 51(1): 98-107.

[22] Eck T F, D G Dye. Satellite estimation of incident photosynthetically active radiation using ultraviolet reflectance.Remote Sens. Environ., 1991, 38(2): 135-146.

[23] Dye D G, R Shibasaki. Intercomparison of global PAR data sets. Geophysical Research Letters, 1995, 22(15): 2013-2016.

[24] King M D et al. EOS Science Plan, NASA EOS Program, 1999.

[25] Running S W et al. MODIS PSN (net photosynthesis) and NPP (net primary productivity) products, MOD17 PSN/NPP Algorithm Technical Basis Document, V3.0, April, 1999.

[26] Lackshmi V, J Small, S J Goetz. Comparison of surface meteorological variables from TOVS and AVHRR. Remote Sensing of Environment, 2002, 79(2-3): 176-188.

[27] Iqbal M. An Introduction to Solar Radiation. London, UK: Academic Press, 1983. 390pp.

[28] Kaufman Y J, Gao B C. Remote sensing of water vapor in the near IR from EOS/MODIS. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 1992, 30(5): 871-884.

[29] Liang S, H Fallah-Adl, S Kalluri et al. Development of an operational atmospheric correction algorithm for TM imagery. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmosphere, 1997, 102(D24): 17173-17186.

[30] Graham E A, Mulkey S S, Kitajima K et al. Cloud cover limits net CO2 uptake and growth of a rainforest tree during tropical rainy seasons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2003, 100(2): 572-576.