Wang, DD; Morton, D; Masek, J; Wu, AS; Nagol, J; Xiong, XX; Levy, R; Vermote, E; Wolfe, R (2012). Impact of sensor degradation on the MODIS NDVI time series. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 119, 55-61.
Time series of satellite data provide unparalleled information on the response of vegetation to climate variability. Detecting subtle changes in vegetation over time requires consistent satellite-based measurements. Here, the impact of sensor degradation on trend detection was evaluated using Collection 5 data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensors on the Terra and Aqua platforms. For Terra MODIS, the impact of blue band (Band 3.470 nm) degradation on simulated surface reflectance was most pronounced at near-nadir view angles, leading to a 0.001-0.004 yr(-1) decline in Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) under a range of simulated aerosol conditions and surface types. Observed trends in MODIS NDVI over North America were consistent with simulated results, with nearly a threefold difference in negative NDVI trends derived from Terra (17.4%) and Aqua (6.7%) MODIS sensors during 2002-2010. Planned adjustments to Terra MODIS calibration for Collection 6 data reprocessing will largely eliminate this negative bias in detection of NDVI trends. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.