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Performance and effects of land cover type on synthetic surface reflectance data and NDVI estimates for assessment and monitoring of semi-arid rangeland

August 1, 2014

Federal land management agencies provide stewardship over much of the rangelands in the arid andsemi-arid western United States, but they often lack data of the proper spatiotemporal resolution andextent needed to assess range conditions and monitor trends. Recent advances in the blending of com-plementary, remotely sensed data could provide public lands managers with the needed information.We applied the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) to five Landsat TMand concurrent Terra MODIS scenes, and used pixel-based regression and difference image analyses toevaluate the quality of synthetic reflectance and NDVI products associated with semi-arid rangeland. Pre-dicted red reflectance data consistently demonstrated higher accuracy, less bias, and stronger correlationwith observed data than did analogous near-infrared (NIR) data. The accuracy of both bands tended todecline as the lag between base and prediction dates increased; however, mean absolute errors (MAE)were typically ≤10%. The quality of area-wide NDVI estimates was less consistent than either spectra lband, although the MAE of estimates predicted using early season base pairs were ≤10% throughout the growing season. Correlation between known and predicted NDVI values and agreement with the 1:1regression line tended to decline as the prediction lag increased. Further analyses of NDVI predictions,based on a 22 June base pair and stratified by land cover/land use (LCLU), revealed accurate estimates through the growing season; however, inter-class performance varied. This work demonstrates the successful application of the STARFM algorithm to semi-arid rangeland; however, we encourage evaluation of STARFM’s performance on a per product basis, stratified by LCLU, with attention given to the influence of base pair selection and the impact of the time lag.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title Performance and effects of land cover type on synthetic surface reflectance data and NDVI estimates for assessment and monitoring of semi-arid rangeland
DOI 10.1016/j.jag.2014.01.008
Authors Edward M. Olexa, Rick L Lawrence
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Series Number
Index ID 70132440
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center