Publication Details

Nguyen, H., Cressie, N. & Braverman, A. (2017). Multivariate spatial data fusion for very large remote sensing datasets. Remote Sensing, 9 (2), 142-1-142-19.


Global maps of total-column carbon dioxide (CO2) mole fraction (in units of parts per million) are important tools for climate research since they provide insights into the spatial distribution of carbon intake and emissions as well as their seasonal and annual evolutions. Currently, two main remote sensing instruments for total-column CO2 are the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and the Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT), both of which produce estimates of CO2 concentration, called profiles, at 20 different pressure levels. Operationally, each profile estimate is then convolved into a single estimate of column-averaged CO2 using a linear pressure weighting function. This total-column CO2 is then used for subsequent analyses such as Level 3 map generation and colocation for validation. In principle, total-column CO2 in these applications may be more efficiently estimated by making optimal estimates of the vector-valued CO2 profiles and applying the pressure weighting function afterwards. These estimates will be more efficient if there is multivariate dependence between CO2 values in the profile. In this article, we describe a methodology that uses a modified Spatial Random Effects model to account for the multivariate nature of the data fusion of OCO-2 and GOSAT.We show that multivariate fusion of the profiles has improved mean squared error relative to scalar fusion of the column-averaged CO2 values from OCO-2 and GOSAT. The computations scale linearly with the number of data points, making it suitable for the typically massive remote sensing datasets. Furthermore, the methodology properly accounts for differences in instrument footprint, measurement-error characteristics, and data coverages.

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