The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLI-B7
20 Jun 2016
 | 20 Jun 2016

Estimation of leaf area index using an angular vegetation index based on in situ measurements and CHRIS/PROBA data

Lijuan Wang, Guimin Zhang, Hui Lin, Liang Liang, and Zheng Niu

Keywords: Multi-angular data, LAI, vegetation index, Remote sensing

Abstract. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is widely used for Leaf Area Index (LAI) estimation. It is well documented that the NDVI is extremely subject to the saturation problem when LAI reaches a high value. A new multi-angular vegetation index, the Hotspot-darkspot Difference Vegetation Index (HDVI) is proposed to estimate the high density LAI. The HDVI, defined as the difference between the hot and dark spot NDVI, relative to the dark spot NDVI, was proposed based on the Analytical two-layer Canopy Reflectance Model (ACRM) model outputs. This index is validated using both in situ experimental data in wheat and data from the multi-angular optical Compact High-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS) satellite. Both indices, the Hotspot-Darkspot Index (HDS) and the NDVI were also selected to analyze the relationship with LAI, and were compared with new index HDVI. The results show that HDVI is an appropriate proxy of LAI with higher determination coefficients (R2) for both the data from the in situ experiment (R2=0.7342, RMSE=0.0205) and the CHRIS data (R2=0.7749, RMSE=0.1013). Our results demonstrate that HDVI can make better the occurrence of saturation limits with the information of multi-angular observation, and is more appropriate for estimating LAI than either HDS or NDVI at high LAI values. Although the new index needs further evaluation, it also has the potential under the condition of dense canopies. It provides the effective improvement to the NDVI and other vegetation indices that are based on the red and NIR spectral bands.