Remote Sensing Phenology


Phenology is the study of plant and animal life cycles in relation to the seasons. EROS maintains a set of nine annual phenological metrics for the conterminous United States, all curated from satellite data. Taken together, the metrics represent a powerful tool for documenting life cycle trends and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.


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Remote Sensing Phenology uses satellites to track seasonal changes in vegetation on regional, continental, and global scales.


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Historical remote sensing phenology (RSP) image data and graphics for the conterminous U.S. are made freely available from the USGS/EROS Center.

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Date published: February 28, 2019

Remote Sensing Phenology Revised Metrics for 2003 - 2017 Released

A revised set of phenology metrics have been released for 2003 – 2017. This suite of phenology metrics was
derived from time-series Collection 6 Aqua eMODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data.

Download C6 Aqua Eastern U.S. 250 m eMODIS Phenology Metrics

Date published: September 20, 2017

Remote Sensing Phenology Metrics Released

Scientists with the Remote Sensing Phenology program at the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center release data on seasonal life cycles on an annual basis.


Year Published: 2019

Exploring relationships of spring green-up to moisture and temperature across Wyoming, U.S.A

Vegetation green-up signals the timing of available nutritious plants and shrubs providing high-quality forage for ungulates. In this study, we characterized spatial and temporal patterns of spring phenology and explored how they were related to preceding temperature and moisture conditions. We tested correlations between late winter weather and...

Brown, Jesslyn; Ji, Lei; Gallant, Alisa L.; Kauffman, Matthew

Year Published: 2018

Optimizing a remote sensing production efficiency model for macro-scale GPP and yield estimation in agroecosystems

Earth observation data are increasingly used to provide consistent eco-physiological information over large areas through time. Production efficiency models (PEMs) estimate Gross Primary Production (GPP) as a function of the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by the canopy, which is derived from Earth observation....

Marshall, Michael; Tu, Kevin; Brown, Jesslyn

Year Published: 2018

Multi-year data from satellite- and ground-based sensors show details and scale matter in assessing climate’s effects on wetland surface water, amphibians, and landscape conditions

Long-term, interdisciplinary studies of relations between climate and ecological conditions on wetland-upland landscapes have been lacking, especially studies integrated across scales meaningful for adaptive resource management. We collected data in situ at individual wetlands, and via satellite for surrounding 4-km2 landscape...

Sadinski, Walter; Gallant, Alisa L.; Roth, Mark; Brown, Jesslyn; Senay, Gabriel; Brininger, Wayne L.; Jones, Perry M.; Stoker, Jason M.
Sadinski, W., Gallant, A.L., Roth, M., Brown, J., Senay, G., Brininger, W., Jones, P.M., Stoker, J. 2018. Multi-year data from satellite- and ground-based sensors show details and scale matter in assessing climate's effects on wetland surface water, amphibians, and landscape conditions. PLoS ONE. 13(9):e0201951. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201951.