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Thenkabail, PS, Schull, M, Turral, H (2005). Ganges and Indus river basin land use/land cover (LULC) and irrigated area mapping using continuous streams of MODIS data. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 95(3), 317-341.

The overarching goal of this study was to map irrigated areas in the Ganges and Indus river basins using near-continuous time-series (8-day), 500-m resolution, 7-band MODIS land data for 2001-2002. A multitemporal analysis was conducted, based on a mega file of 294 wavebands, made from 42 MODIS images each of 7 bands. Complementary field data were gathered from 196 locations. The study began with the development of two cloud removal algorithms (CRAs) for MODIS 7-band reflectivity data, named: (a) blue-band minimum reflectivity threshold and (b) visible-band minimum reflectivity threshold. A series of innovative methods and approaches were introduced to analyze time-series MODIS data and consisted of. (a) brightness-greenness-wetness (BGW) RED-NIR 2-dimensional feature space (2-d FS) plots for each of the 42 dates, (b) end-member (spectral angle) analysis using RED-NIR single date (RN-SD) plots, (c) combining several RN-SDs in a single plot to develop RED-NIR multidate (RNMDs) plots in order to help track changes in magnitude and direction of spectral classes in 2-d FS, (d) introduction of a unique concept of space-time spiral curves (ST-SCs) to continuously track class dynamics over time and space and to determine class separability at various time periods within and across seasons, and (e) to establish unique class signatures based on NDVI (CS-NDVI) and/or multiband reflectivity (CS-MBR), for each class, and demonstrate their intra- and inter-seasonal and intra- and inter-year characteristics. The results from these techniques and methods enabled us to gather precise information on onset-peak-senescence-duration of each irrigated and rainfed classes. The resulting 29 land use/land cover (LULC) map consisted of 6 unique irrigated area classes in the total study area of 133,021,156 ha within the Ganges and Indus basins. Of this, the net irrigated area was estimated as 33.08 million hectares-26.6% by canals and 73.4z5 by groundwater. Of the 33.08 Mha, 98.4% of the area was irrigated during khariff (Southwest monsoonal rainy season during June-October), 92.5% irrigated during Rabi (Northeast monsoonal rainy season during November-February), and only 3.5% continuously through the year. Quantitative Fuzzy Classification Accuracy Assessment (QFCAA) showed that the accuracies of the 29 classes varied from 56% to 100%-with 17 classes above 80% accurate and 23 classes above 70% accurate. The MODIS band 5 centered at 1240 nm provided the best separability in mapping irrigated area classes, followed by bands 2 (centered at 859 nm), 7 (2130 nm) and 6 (1640 rim). (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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