Comparison Between Fractional Vegetation Cover Retrievals from Vegetation Indices and Spectral Mixture Analysis: Case Study of PROBA/CHRIS Data Over an Agricultural Area.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)

PubMedID: 22399938

Jiménez-Muñoz JC, Sobrino JA, Plaza A, Guanter L, Moreno J, Martínez P. Comparison Between Fractional Vegetation Cover Retrievals from Vegetation Indices and Spectral Mixture Analysis: Case Study of PROBA/CHRIS Data Over an Agricultural Area. Sensors (Basel). 2012;9(2):768-93.
In this paper we compare two different methodologies for Fractional Vegetation Cover (FVC) retrieval from Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS) data onboard the European Space Agency (ESA) Project for On-Board Autonomy (PROBA) platform. The first methodology is based on empirical approaches using Vegetation Indices (VIs), in particular the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Variable Atmospherically Resistant Index (VARI). The second methodology is based on the Spectral Mixture Analysis (SMA) technique, in which a Linear Spectral Unmixing model has been considered in order to retrieve the abundance of the different constituent materials within pixel elements, called Endmembers (EMs). These EMs were extracted from the image using three different methods: i) manual extraction using a land cover map, ii) Pixel Purity Index (PPI) and iii) Automated Morphological Endmember Extraction (AMEE). The different methodologies for FVC retrieval were applied to one PROBA/CHRIS image acquired over an agricultural area in Spain, and they were calibrated and tested against in situ measurements of FVC estimated with hemispherical photographs. The results obtained from VIs show that VARI correlates better with FVC than NDVI does, with standard errors of estimation of less than 8% in the case of VARI and less than 13% in the case of NDVI when calibrated using the in situ measurements. The results obtained from the SMA-LSU technique show Root Mean Square Errors (RMSE) below 12% when EMs are extracted from the AMEE method and around 9% when extracted from the PPI method. A RMSE value below 9% was obtained for manual extraction of EMs using a land cover use map.