A daily, 250 m and real-time gross primary productivity product (2000–present) covering the contiguous United States

Chongya Jiang, Kaiyu Guan, Genghong Wu, Bin Peng, Sheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gross primary productivity (GPP) quantifies the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) fixed by plants through photosynthesis. Although as a key quantity of terrestrial ecosystems, there is a lack of high-spatialand- temporal-resolution, real-time and observation-based GPP products. To address this critical gap, here we leverage a state-of-the-art vegetation index, near-infrared reflectance of vegetation (NIRV), along with accurate photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), to produce a SatelLite Only Photosynthesis Estimation (SLOPE) GPP product for the contiguous United States (CONUS). Compared to existing GPP products, the proposed SLOPE product is advanced in its spatial resolution (250m versus >500 m), temporal resolution (daily versus 8 d), instantaneity (latency of 1 d versus >2 weeks) and quantitative uncertainty (on a per-pixel and daily basis versus no uncertainty information available). These characteristics are achieved because of several technical innovations employed in this study: (1) SLOPE couples machine learning models with MODIS atmosphere and land products to accurately estimate PAR. (2) SLOPE couples highly efficient and pragmatic gapfilling and filtering algorithms with surface reflectance acquired by both Terra and Aqua MODIS satellites to derive a soil-adjusted NIRV (SANIRV) dataset. (3) SLOPE couples a temporal pattern recognition approach with a long-term Cropland Data Layer (CDL) product to predict dynamic C4 crop fraction. Through developing a parsimonious model with only two slope parameters, the proposed SLOPE product explains 85% of the spatial and temporal variations in GPP acquired from 49 AmeriFlux eddy-covariance sites (324 site years), with a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 1.63 gCm-2 d-1. The median R2 over C3 and C4 crop sites reaches 0.87 and 0.94, respectively, indicating great potentials for monitoring crops, in particular bioenergy crops, at the field level. With such a satisfactory performance and its distinct characteristics in spatiotemporal resolution and instantaneity, the proposed SLOPE GPP product is promising for biological and environmental research, carbon cycle research, and a broad range of real-time applications at the regional scale. The archived dataset is available at https://doi.org/10.3334/ORNLDAAC/1786 (download page: https://daac.ornl.gov/daacdata/cms/SLOPE-GPP-CONUS/data/, last access: 20 January 2021) (Jiang and Guan, 2020), and the real-time dataset is available upon request.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-298
Number of pages18
JournalEarth System Science Data
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 9 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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