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Fensholt, R (2004). Earth observation of vegetation status in the Sahelian and Sudanian West Africa: comparison of terra MODIS and NOAA AVHRR satellite data. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF REMOTE SENSING, 25(9), 1641-1659.

The first year of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data are compared with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data for derivation of biophysical variables in Senegal, West Africa. The dynamic range of the two MODIS vegetation indices (VIs) - the continuity vegetation index (CVI) and the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) - is generally much larger than for the NOAA AVHRR normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data, indicating the importance of the change in near-infrared wavelength configuration from the NOAA AVHRR sensor to the MODIS sensor. Senegal is characterized by a pronounced gradient in the vegetation density covering a range of agro-climatic zones from arid to humid and it is found that the MODIS CVI values saturate for high VI values while the EVI demonstrates improved sensitivity for high biomass. Compared to NOAA AVHRR the MODIS VIs generally correlate better to the MODIS fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR) absorbed by vegetation canopies and the leaf area index (LAI; the one-sided green leaf area per unit ground area). CVI is found to correlate better to both fAPAR and LAI than is the case for EVI because of the larger dynamic range of the CVI data. This suggests that the problem of background contamination on VIs from soil is not as severe in Senegal as has been found in other semi-arid African areas.



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