Fontana, FMA; Coops, NC; Khlopenkov, KV; Trishchenko, AP; Riffler, M; Wulder, MA (2012). Generation of a novel 1 km NDVI data set over Canada, the northern United States, and Greenland based on historical AVHRR data. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 121, 171-185.
Time series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from satellite observations provide important information on the state of terrestrial vegetation over a wide range of spatiotemporal scales. For understanding long-term changes in terrestrial ecosystems (post-1981), data collected by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on board the satellites of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) series is a unique source of information. In this paper, we describe a new processing methodology for a comprehensive AVHRR data set at 1 km spatial resolution acquired over Canada, the northern United States and Greenland post-1981. The methodology incorporates a pre-processing algorithm, Canadian AVHRR Processing System (CAPS), recently developed by the Canada Centre of Remote Sensing (CCRS), which enables highly accurate geolocation and ortho-rectification. at efficiency rates of > 90%. Once image navigation is completed, our approach consists of five key steps: first, two clear-sky composites for each 10 day interval are generated from the forward or backward scattering hemisphere; second, AVHRR Channel 1 and 2 reflectances are normalized to the AVHRR/3 on board NOAA-17 to account for differences in the spectral response function among the AVHRR sensors; third, atmospheric correction is performed using the Simplified Method for Atmospheric correction (SMAC) algorithm, using standard meteorological data sets (water vapor, surface level air pressure, ozone); fourth, NDVI is calculated based on atmospherically corrected Channel 1 and 2 reflectances; and finally, the NDVI is adjusted for directional effects based on the Ross-Thick Li-Sparse Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) model. The processed NDVI data are compared to an equivalent spatially and temporally overlapping MODIS NDVI data set from 2001 to 2005 for validation. Results at continental scale indicate that time series of MODIS and AVHRR were similar for a wide range of biomes and generalized ecoregions. Analysis stratified by land cover indicated that the correlation was strongest for homogeneous land cover types, such as cropland, when compared to structurally more diverse classes, such as deciduous broadleaf forests. The comparison of the NDVI at the local scale at seven sites of the Fluxnet Canada Research Network resulted in the correlation coefficient r = 0.95. Given confidence in the processing approach, this NDVI data set can be a valuable source of information for climate and vegetation-related studies over Canada and the northern United States. (c) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.