Articles | Volume 15, issue 14
Research article
30 Jul 2018
Research article |  | 30 Jul 2018

An evaluation of SMOS L-band vegetation optical depth (L-VOD) data sets: high sensitivity of L-VOD to above-ground biomass in Africa

Nemesio J. Rodríguez-Fernández, Arnaud Mialon, Stephane Mermoz, Alexandre Bouvet, Philippe Richaume, Ahmad Al Bitar, Amen Al-Yaari, Martin Brandt, Thomas Kaminski, Thuy Le Toan, Yann H. Kerr, and Jean-Pierre Wigneron

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Cited articles

Al Bitar, A., Mialon, A., Kerr, Y. H., Cabot, F., Richaume, P., Jacquette, E., Quesney, A., Mahmoodi, A., Tarot, S., Parrens, M., Al-Yaari, A., Pellarin, T., Rodriguez-Fernandez, N., and Wigneron, J.-P.: The global SMOS Level 3 daily soil moisture and brightness temperature maps, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 293–315,, 2017.
Andela, N., Liu, Y. Y., van Dijk, A. I. J. M., de Jeu, R. A. M., and McVicar, T. R.: Global changes in dryland vegetation dynamics (1988–2008) assessed by satellite remote sensing: comparing a new passive microwave vegetation density record with reflective greenness data, Biogeosciences, 10, 6657–6676,, 2013.
Asner, G. P., Knapp, D. E., Martin, R. E., Tupayachi, R., Anderson, C. B., Mascaro, J., Sinca, F., Chadwick, K. D., Higgins, M., Farfan, W., Llactayo, W., and Silman, M. R.: Targeted carbon conservation at national scales with high-resolution monitoring, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111, E5016–E5022,, 2014.
Avitabile, V., Herold, M., Heuvelink, G., Lewis, S. L., Phillips, O. L., Asner, G. P., Armston, J., Ashton, P. S., Banin, L., Bayol, N., and Berry, N. J.: An integrated pan-tropical biomass map using multiple reference datasets, Glob. Change Biol., 22, 1406–1420, 2016.
Baccini, A., Goetz, S., Walker, W., Laporte, N., Sun, M., Sulla-Menashe, D., Hackler, J., Beck, P., Dubayah, R., Friedl, M., and Samanta, S.: Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from tropical deforestation improved by carbon-density maps, Nat. Clim. Change, 2, 182–185, 2012.
Short summary
Existing global scale above-ground biomass (AGB) maps are made at very high spatial resolution collecting data during several years. In this paper we discuss the use of a new data set from the SMOS satellite: the vegetation optical depth estimated from low microwave frequencies. It is shown that this new data set is highly sensitive to AGB. The spacial resolution of SMOS is coarse (40 km) but the new data set can be used to monitor AGB variations with time due to its high revisit frequency.
Final-revised paper