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Product pages » Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR) - AVHRR, CSIRO Land and Water algorithm, Australia coverage

Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR) - AVHRR, CSIRO Land and Water algorithm, Australia coverage

Last modified by Matt Paget on 2016/06/29 05:56

Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FPAR) - AVHRR, CSIRO Land and Water algorithm, Australia coverage

Figure 1: Total fPAR for January 1981. Recurrent and persistent fractions of the total are also available.

Link to the data

DescriptorData link
Persistent URL
GeoNetwork record
ENVI and NetCDF-CF (partial)

Need to update the NCI archive to version 5, convert 0.08° and 0.01° to NetCDF-CF, and create 0.05° NetCDF-CF.

Data licence and Access rights

RightsCopyright 2008-2012 CSIRO. Rights owned by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Rights licensed subject to Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA).
LicenceCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License,
AccessThese data can be freely downloaded and used subject to the CC BY-SA licence. Attribution and citation is required as described at We ask that you send us citations and copies of publications arising from work that use these data.

Will talk to the authors to see if we can change the license to CC BY.

Alternate title

Australian monthly fPAR derived from Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer reflectances

Abstract or Summary

These data describe the Australia-wide, monthly fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation absorbed by vegetation (fPAR) derived from Advance Very High Resolution Radiometer data spanning July 1981 to Oct 2011. fPAR is linearly related to fractional foliage cover. Here fPAR is split into that of persistent vegetation and of recurrent vegetation, which represent non-deciduous perennial vegetation and annual, ephemeral and deciduous vegetation, respectively. Data have been processed using the "invariant cover triangle" method to remove the majority of errors introduced by sensor calibration and change-over effects. Data are pre-eminently suited to the analysis of long-term dynamics (trends) in vegetation cover.

Spatial and Temporal extents

Spatial resolution (degrees)0.01° (1 km), 0.08° (8 km) and 0.05° (5 km)
Spatial coverage (degrees)110.00 to 155.00 E, -10.0 to -45.00 N
Temporal resolutionmonthly
Temporal coverage0.08°: 1981-01 to 2011-10
0.01°: 1995-02 to 2011-10
0.05°: 1995-02 to 2011-10
Sensor & platformAVHRR
Spatial representation typegrid
Spatial reference systemWGS 84

Point of contact

NameRandall J. Donohue
OrganisationCSIRO Land and Water
PositionResearch scientist
NameDr Michael L. Roderick
OrganisationEnvironmental Biology Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, The Australian National University


This dataset has been developed by the Time Series Remote Sensing Team, CSIRO Land and Water in conjunction with the Environmental Biology Group at the Australian National University. The original data were supplied by CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. This work has been supported by the eWater CRC.


FoREnvironmental Sciences > Ecological Applications = 0501

There are three main thesauri that AusCover recommends:

  1. Global Change Master Directory (
  2. Climate and Forecast (CF) convention standard names (
  3. Fields of Research codes (

Data quality

Some months in the PAL data series have had data from portions of the country masked out due to poor data quality. These months and the approximate regions covered by masks are indicated in the list at the end of the readme file (see Donohue et al., 2007 for full details).

Validation status

No assessment of accuracy has been performed on this data although the greatest possible precision of AVHRR-derived NDVI/fPAR data is around 0.01-0.02. Spatial accuracy of the HRPT LAC data is to within half a pixel. 

Related products

ItemProduct link
AVHRR PAL archive
AVHRR HRPT stitched archivecontact


ItemDetail or link
PublicationDonohue RJ, Roderick ML, McVicar TR (2008) Deriving consistent long-term vegetation information from AVHRR reflectance data using a cover-triangle-based framework. Remote Sensing of Environment, 112, 2938-2949.
PublicationDonohue RJ, Roderick ML, McVicar TR (2007) Correcting long-term AVHRR reflectance data using the vegetation cover triangle. CSIRO Land and Water, CSIRO Land and Water Science Report 26/07, Canberra.
Readme file
Validation report
Online info

Algorithm summary

Data are derived from NOAA AVHRR Red and Near Infra-Red reflectances. Reflectances were calibrated using the invariant-cover-triangle methodology (Donohue et al., 2008). This method makes relative calibrations for both atmospheric interferences and sensor calibration errors to produce data suitable for long-term vegetation dynamics analyses. Refer to readme file for details. These data have been corrected specifically for use in looking at long-term dynamics. The majority of sensor calibration and sensor change-over errors have been removed as have most Rayleigh (molecular) and aerosol scattering. Water vapour absorption and viewing angle (i.e., BRDF) effects have not been removed from the data.

Pathfinder AVHRR Land (PAL) data (0.08 degree resolution), spanning July 1981-April 1994, have been combined with High Resolution Picture Transmission (HRPT) data (0.01 degree resolution), spanning February 1995-December 2006. When the HRPT data are supplied at 0.08 degree-equivalent resolution, the original 0.01 degree HRPT data have been resampled to 0.08 degrees by averaging the data into 64-pixel squares which approximately align with overlying PAL pixels.

Product version history

Version labelDetail
3.0Data produced using the method described in Donohue et al. (2008).  This version was created in March 2008, and included minor refinements to V2 to address feedback from the Remote Sensing of Environment external reviewers.
4.0Update to the persistent and recurrent fPAR data (7 July 2008).  A coding error was found in the program used to create the FTP version of the dataset.  Whilst this would have only affected the persistent and recurrent data, all variables have been recalculated.
5.0Created as an update to version 4 extending it to October 2011.  The global thresholds used to rescale NDVI to fPAR were recalculated for the HRPT (0.01) data.  This means the fPAR data values for the months within the 1992-2006 period are likely to differ from values in the same months in version 4. All data from the GAC (0.08) data are the same as version 4.

Metadata history

2012-03-09Metadata creation date
2013-02-16Reformatted to new template.
Created abstract and licence details to be consistent with the CSIRO DAP record.
Retrieved some details from the readme document for version 5.
Created by Matt Paget on 2013/02/16 23:21

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