A comparison of two canopy radiative models in land surface processes

Abstract

This paper compares the predictions by two radiative transfer models—the two-stream approximation model and the generalized layered model (developed by the authors) in land surface processes—for different canopies under direct or diffuse radiation conditions. The comparison indicates that there are significant differences between the two models, especially in the near infrared (NIR) band. Results of canopy reflectance from the two-stream model are larger than those from the generalized model. However, results of canopy absorptance from the two-stream model are larger in some cases and smaller in others compared to those from the generalized model, depending on the cases involved. In the visible (VIS) band, canopy reflectance is smaller and canopy absorptance larger from the two-stream model compared to the generalized model when the Leaf Area Index (LAI) is low and soil reflectance is high. In cases of canopies with vertical leaf angles, the differences of reflectance and absorptance in the VIS and NIR bands between the two models are especially large.

Two commonly occurring cases, with which the two-stream model cannot deal accurately, are also investigated. One is for a canopy with different adaxial and abaxial leaf optical properties; and the other is for incident sky diffuse radiation with a non-uniform distribution. Comparison of the generalized model within the same canopy for both uniform and non-uniform incident diffuse radiation inputs shows smaller differences in general. However, there is a measurable difference between these radiation inputs for a canopy with high leaf angle. This indicates that the application of the two-stream model to a canopy with different adaxial and abaxial leaf optical properties will introduce non-negligible errors.

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Dai, Q., Sun, S. A comparison of two canopy radiative models in land surface processes. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 24, 421–434 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-007-0421-2

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Key words

  • generalized canopy radiative transfer model
  • two-stream approximation model
  • canopy reflectance
  • canopy absorptance