Mapping carbon stocks in Central and South America with SMAP vegetation optical depth

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. This is version 1 of this Preprint.


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David Chaparro, Grégory Duveiller, María Piles, Mercè Vall-llossera, Alessandro Cescatti, Adriano Camps, Dara Entekhabi


Mapping carbon stocks in the tropics is essential for climate change mitigation. Passive microwave remote sensing allows estimating carbon from deep canopy layers through the Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD) parameter. Although their spatial resolution is coarser than that of optical vegetation indices or airborne Lidar data, microwaves present a higher penetration capacity at low frequencies (Lband) and avoid cloud masking. This work compares the relationships of airborne carbon maps in Central and South America with both (i) SMAP L-band VOD at 9 km gridding and (ii) MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI). Models to estimate carbon stocks are built from these two satellite derived variables. Results show that L-band VOD has a greater capacity to model carbon variability than EVI. The resulting VOD-derived carbon estimates are further presented at a detailed (9 km) spatial scale.



Engineering, Life Sciences


tropical forests, L-band, Carbon modelling, Vegetation optical depth


Published: 2021-06-12 08:48

Last Updated: 2021-06-12 15:48


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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