Gitelson, AA (2004). Wide dynamic range vegetation index for remote quantification of biophysical characteristics of vegetation. JOURNAL OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY, 161(2), 165-173.
The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is widely used for monitoring, analyzing, and mapping temporal and spatial distributions of physiological and biophysical characteristics of vegetation. It is well documented that the NDVI approaches saturation asymptotically under conditions of moderate-to-high aboveground biomass. While reflectance in the red region (rho(red)) exhibits a nearly flat response once the leaf area index (LAI) exceeds 2, the near infrared (NIR) reflectance (rho(NIR)) continue to respond significantly to changes in moderate-to-high vegetation density (LAI from 2 to 6) in crops. However, this higher sensitivity of the rho(NIR) has little effect on NDVI values once the rho(NIR) exceeds 30%. In this paper a simple modification of the NDVI was proposed. The Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index, WDRVI = (a*rho(NIR)-rho(red))/(a*rho(NIR)+rho(red)), where the weighting coefficient a has a value of 0.1-0.2, increases correlation with vegetation fraction by linearizing the relationship for typical wheat, soybean, and maize canopies. The sensitivity of the WDRVI to moderate-to-high LAI (between 2 and 6) was at least three times greater than that of the NDVI. By enhancing the dynamic range while using the same bands as the NDVI, the WDRVI enables a more robust characterization of crop physiological and phenological characteristics. Although this index needs further evaluation, the linear relationship with vegetation fraction and much higher sensitivity to change in LAI will be especially valuable for precision agriculture and monitoring vegetation status under conditions of mode rate-to-high density. It is anticipated that the new index will complement the NDVI and other vegetation indices that are based on the red and NIR spectral bands.