MODIS Vegetative Cover Conversion and Vegetation Continuous Fields

  • Mark Carroll
  • John Townshend
  • Matthew Hansen
  • Charlene DiMiceli
  • Robert Sohlberg
  • Karl Wurster
Part of the Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing book series (RDIP, volume 11)


Land cover change occurs at various spatial and temporal scales. For example, large-scale mechanical removal of forests for agro-industrial activities contrasts with the small-scale clearing of subsistence farmers. Such dynamics vary in spatial extent and rate of land conversion. Such changes are attributable to both natural and anthropogenic factors. For example, lightning- or human-ignited fires burn millions of acres of land surface each year. Further, land cover conversion requires ­contrasting with the land cover modification. In the first instance, the dynamic represents extensive categorical change between two land cover types. Land cover modification mechanisms such as selective logging and woody encroachment depict changes within a given land cover type rather than a conversion from one land cover type to another. This chapter describes the production of two standard MODIS land products used to document changes in global land cover. The Vegetative Cover Conversion (VCC) product is designed primarily to serve as a global alarm for areas where land cover change occurs rapidly (Zhan et al. 2000). The Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) product is designed to continuously ­represent ground cover as a proportion of basic vegetation traits. Terra’s launch in December 1999 afforded a new opportunity to observe the entire Earth every 1.2 days at 250-m spatial resolution. The MODIS instrument’s appropriate spatial and ­temporal resolutions provide the opportunity to substantially improve the characterization of the land surface and changes occurring thereupon (Townshend et al. 1991).


Land Cover Normalize Difference Vegetation Index Land Cover Change Tree Cover Land Cover Type 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Carroll
    • 1
  • John Townshend
  • Matthew Hansen
  • Charlene DiMiceli
  • Robert Sohlberg
  • Karl Wurster
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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