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Gu, YX; Wylie, BK; Howard, DM; Phuyal, KP; Ji, L (2013). NDVI saturation adjustment: A new approach for improving cropland performance estimates in the Greater Platte River Basin, USA. ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, 30, 1-6.

In this study, we developed a new approach that adjusted normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) pixel values that were near saturation to better characterize the cropland performance (CP) in the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB), USA. The relationship between NDVI and the ratio vegetation index (RVI) at high NDVI values was investigated, and an empirical equation for estimating saturation-adjusted NDVI (NDVIsat-adjust) based on RVI was developed. A 10-year (2000-2009) NDVIsat-adjust data set was developed using 250-m 7-day composite historical eMODIS (expedited Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) NDVI data. The growing season averaged NDVI (GSN), which is a proxy for ecosystem performance, was estimated and long-term NDVI non-saturation- and saturation-adjusted cropland performance (CPnon-sat-adjust, CPsat-adjust) maps were produced over the GPRB. The final CP maps were validated using National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) crop yield data. The relationship between CPsat-adjust and the NASS average corn yield data (r = 0.78, 113 samples) is stronger than the relationship between CPnon-sat-adjust and the NASS average corn yield data (r=0.67, 113 samples), indicating that the new CPsat-adjust map reduces the NDVI saturation effects and is in good agreement with the corn yield ground observations. Results demonstrate that the NDVI saturation adjustment approach improves the quality of the original GSN map and better depicts the actual vegetation conditions of the GPRB cropland systems. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



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