Cloud cover in Landsat observations of the Brazilian Amazon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

High spatial resolution Landsat imagery is employed in efforts to understand the impact of human activities on ecological, biogeochemical and atmospheric processes in the Amazon basin. The utility of Landsat multi-spectral data depends both on the degree to which surface properties can be estimated from the radiometric measurements and on the ability to observe the surface through the atmosphere. Clouds are a major obstacle to optical remote sensing of humid tropical regions, therefore cloud cover probability analysis is a fundamental prerequisite to land-cover change and Earth system process studies in these regions. This paper reports the results of a spatially explicit analysis of cloud cover in the Landsat archive of Brazilian Amazonia from 1984 to 1997. Monthly observations of any part of the basin are highly improbable using Landsat-like optical imagers. Annual observations are possible for most of the basin, but are improbable in northern parts of the region. These results quantify the limitations imposed by cloud cover to current Amazon land-cover change assessments using Landsat data. They emphasize the need for improved radar and alternative optical data fusion techniques to provide time-series analyses of biogeophysical properties for regional modelling efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3855-3862
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Volume22
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Atmospheric movements
Time series analysis
Landsat multispectral scanner
Optical sensors
time series analysis
Image sensors
cloud cover
Imaging systems
land use change
Landsat
vegetation
land cover
basin
Data fusion
Surface properties
Time series
Remote sensing
tropical region
Radar
Earth (planet)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Cloud cover in Landsat observations of the Brazilian Amazon. / Asner, G. P.

In: International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 22, No. 18, 15.12.2001, p. 3855-3862.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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