Cogato, A; Meggio, F; Collins, C; Marinello, F (2020). Medium-Resolution Multispectral Data from Sentinel-2 to Assess the Damage and the Recovery Time of Late Frost on Vineyards. REMOTE SENSING, 12(11), 1896.

In a climate-change context, the advancement of phenological stages may endanger viticultural areas in the event of a late frost. This study evaluated the potential of satellite-based remote sensing to assess the damage and the recovery time after a late frost event in 2017 in northern Italian vineyards. Several vegetation indices (VIs) normalized on a two-year dataset (2018-2019) were compared over a frost-affected area (F) and a control area (NF) using unpaired two-sample t-test. Furthermore, the must quality data (total acidity, sugar content and pH) of F and NF were analyzed. The VIs most sensitive in the detection of frost damage were Chlorophyll Absorption Ratio Index (CARI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), and Modified Triangular Vegetation Index 1 (MTVI1) (-5.26%, -16.59%, and -5.77% compared to NF, respectively). The spectral bands Near-Infrared (NIR) and Red Edge 7 were able to identify the frost damage (-16.55 and -16.67% compared to NF, respectively). Moreover, CARI, EVI, MTVI1, NIR, Red Edge 7, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Modified Simple Ratio (MSR) provided precise information on the full recovery time (+17.7%, +22.42%, +29.67%, +5.89%, +5.91%, +16.48%, and +8.73% compared to NF, respectively) approximately 40 days after the frost event. The must analysis showed that total acidity was higher (+5.98%), and pH was lower (-2.47%) in F compared to NF. These results suggest that medium-resolution multispectral data from Sentinel-2 constellation may represent a cost-effective tool for frost damage assessment and recovery management.