Fractional cover - MODIS, CSIRO algorithm

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About this Collection

Fractional cover - MODIS, CSIRO algorithm

Vegetation Fractional Cover represents the exposed proportion of Photosynthetic Vegetation (PV), Non-Photosynthetic Vegetation (NPV) and Bare Soil (BS) within each pixel. The sum of the three fractions is 100% (+/- 3%) and shown in Red/Green/Blue colors. In forested canopies the photosynthetic or non-photosynthetic portions of trees may obscure tho... more

Agricultural Land Management Conservation and Biodiversity Ecological Applications not elsewhere classified Environmental Monitoring Land Capability and Soil Degradation Landscape Ecology Natural Resource Management

01 Jan 2001

11 Nov 2019

Juan Guerschman

Vegetation cover vegetation area fraction MODIS fractional cover ground cover total cover


NCI Thredds Server


Calibration and validation of the Australian fractional cover product for MODIS collection 6


Assessing the effects of site heterogeneity and soil properties when unmixing photosynthetic vegetation, non-photosynthetic vegetation and bare soil fractions from Landsat and MODIS data


Version 3.0: Fractional cover was derived using a linear unmixing methodology (Guerschman et al. 2015). The method uses all 7 MODIS bands and adds log transforms and band interaction terms to account for non-linearities in the spectral mixing. A cross-validation step was also included to select the optimal number of singular values to avoid over-fitting. The calibration and validation steps used 1171 field observations across Australia. Overall, the model fitted and applied to MCD43A4 fractional cover has a root mean square error (RMSE) of 12.9%, 18.1% and 16.6% for the PV, NPV and BS fractions respectively (percentage cover) Version 3.1: ("v310") Same as Version 3.0 with the following modifications: 1- input data changed to MODIS Collection 6.0 (MCD43A4.006) (see source). 2- calibration dataset expanded to include ~3022 field measurement sites accross Australia. 3- overall accuracy improved to an RMSE of 11.3%, 16.1% and 14.7% for the PV, NPV and BS fractions respectively. Monthly vegetation cover is calculated from the 8-day composites using a medoid method as described in Gill et al. Monthly anomalies show the difference between total vegetation cover (PV+NPV) in a given month and the mean total vegetation cover for that month in all years available\nMonthly deciles show the decile (ranking) for the total vegetation cover in a given month in relation to the vegetation cover in that month for all years in the time series.

This dataset has been developed by the Environmental Earth Observation Group, CSIRO Land and Water.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence

CSIRO (Australia), Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) (Australia), Australian Government Department of Agriculture (Australia)

Guerschman, Juan (2014): Fractional cover - MODIS, CSIRO algorithm. v2. CSIRO. Data Collection. 102.100.100/42094

All Rights (including copyright) CSIRO 2014.

The metadata and files (if any) are available to the public.

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Location Details

70°0′0″ N

60°0′0″ S

180°0′0″ E

180°0′0″ W


More about this Collection

Juan Guerschman

Senior Research Scientist





About this Project

DoAWR - Improving the RaPP Map monitoring tool for Australia

This project will bring the enhancements to the ground cover monitoring tool (the RaPP Map) needed to assist in enabling the NRM agencies and individuals to undertake monthly reporting on ground cover level change. Proposed enhancements include: Continuity of the tool data quality increase the number of outputs required by NRMs improve the functi... more

Juan Guerschman

Juan Guerschman

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