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A variety of vegetation indices have been used to assess the state and monitor the evolution of the terrestrial biosphere. This paper demonstrates an objective method to evaluate, through model simulation studies, the performance of a representative sample of three such indices (NDVI, SAVI and GEMI) with respect to their capability to retrieve the fractional vegetation cover and the leaf area index from AVHRR optical data. The proposed performance criterion is based on the concept of signal to noise ratio. It is found that no single index is optimal under all conditions, but that improved indices (GEMI and SAVI) are generally much better than the NDVI for assessing the fractional vegetation cover. Reliable estimates of the leaf area index appear very difficult to obtain when this parameter exceeds about two because of the insensitivity of the red reflectance to multiple leaf layers.

Additional information

Authors: LEPRIEUR C, CNRS, Laboratoire d'Etudes et de Recherches en Télédetection Spatiale, Toulouse (FR);VERSTRAETE M M, JRC Ispra (IT);PINTY B, CNRS, Université Blaise Pascal, Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique, Aubière (FR)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Remote Sensing Reviews, Vol. 10 (1994) pp. 265-284
Record Number: 199511191 / Last updated on: 1995-10-10
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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