Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    In this study retrievals of forest canopy height were obtained through adjustment of a simple geometricoptical (GO) model against red band surface bidirectional reflectance estimates from NASA's Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), mapped to a 250 m grid. The soil-understory background contribution was partly isolated prior to inversion using regression relationships with the isotropic, geometric, and volume scattering kernel weights of a Li-Ross kernel-driven bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) model. The height retrievals were assessed using discrete return lidar data acquired over sites in Colorado as part of the Cold Land Processes Experiment (CLPX) and used with fractional crown cover retrievals to obtain aboveground woody biomass estimates. For all model runs with reasonable backgrounds and initial b/r (vertical to horizontal crown radii) values b2.0, root mean square error (RMSE) distributions were centered between 2.5 and 3.7 m while R2 distributions were centered between 0.4 and 0.7. The MISR/ GO aboveground biomass estimates predicted via regression on fractional cover and mean canopy height for the CLPX sites showed good agreement with U.S. Forest Service Interior West map data (adjusted R2=0.84). The implication is that multiangle sensors such as MISR can provide spatially contiguous retrievals of forest canopy height, cover, and aboveground woody biomass that are potentially useful in mapping distributions of aboveground carbon stocks, tracking disturbance, and in initializing, constraining, and validating ecosystem models. This is important because the MISR record is spatially comprehensive and extends back to the year 2000 and the launch of the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra satellite; it might thus provide a ~10-year baseline record that would enhance exploitation of data from the NASA Deformation, Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI) mission, as well as furthering realization of synergies with active instruments.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Chopping, Mark; Nolin, Anne; Moisen, Gretchen G.; Martonchik, John V.; Bull, Michael. 2009. Forest canopy height from Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) assessed with high resolution discrete return lidar. Remote Sensing of Environment. 113: 2172-2185.


    forest, canopy, height, cover, biomass, multiangle, model, inversion, mapping

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page