Hassan, QK, Bourque, CPA, Meng, FR, Richards, W (2007). Spatial mapping of growing degree days: an application of MODIS-based surface temperatures and enhanced vegetation index. JOURNAL OF APPLIED REMOTE SENSING, 1, 13511.
Growing degree days (GDD) is a simple temperature-based index of biological development. In this paper we evaluated the potential of using 2003-2005 MODIS-based 8-day and 16-day composites of daytime surface temperature (T-S) and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) values at 250 m resolution for mapping GDD. The work was applied to the Canadian Atlantic Maritime Ecozone as a demonstration of the methodology. The work proceeded by establishing an empirical relationship between mean tower-based estimates of TS for the MODIS-acquisition period of 10:30 am-12:00 pm and the daily mean TS calculated from half-hourly emitted infrared/longwave radiation measurements taken from four flux sites in southern commercial forests of Canada. The relationship revealed a strong correlation between variables (r(2)=98.4%) and was central to the calculation of daily mean TS from MODIS-based estimates of TS. Since seasonally-based estimates of GDD and EVI were strongly correlated (r(2)=87%), data fusion techniques were applied to enhance the GDD map originally produced at 1 km resolution (from infrared emission band data), to 250 m. In general, the MODIS-derived map of GDD showed a positive constant offset of about 511 degree days from calculated long-term averages (1971-2000) based on temperatures collected at 101 Environment Canada climate stations.