Xu, CY; Qu, JJ; Hao, XJ; Cosh, MH; Zhu, ZL; Gutenberg, L (2020). Monitoring crop water content for corn and soybean fields through data fusion of MODIS and Landsat measurements in Iowa. AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT, 227, 105844.

Vegetation water content (VWC) is of vital significance to many applications in agriculture, such as crop yield estimation and precision irrigation. However, previous studies mainly estimate VWC at either high spatial resolution or temporal resolution due to the limitation of space-borne observation systems. In this paper, we target on monitoring daily plant VWC as well as canopy VWC at 30 m high spatial resolution with the fusion of optical measurements from the Land Remote Sensing Satellite (Landsat) Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) in an agricultural area. The study area locates in the central of Iowa, the United States (USA), the study period ranges from August 1 to August 17, 2016. Landsat 8 OLI observations are with 16-day revisit cycle and 30-m spatial resolution, MODIS daily surface reflectance product used in this study has 500-m spatial resolution. Six Landsat OLI images and thirty MODIS images were used to estimate daily remotely sensed reflectance data at 30m first. Then, the fused satellite measurements were used to calculate Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). Ground-based plant VWC and canopy VWC measurements were collected during the Soil Moisture Active Passive Validation Experiment (SMAPVEX16) to calibrate and validate the model for plant VMC and canopy VWC estimation separately with the NDWI. The results of validation with in-situ measurements showed an R-2 of 0.44 for the corn plant VWC, an R-2 of 0.66 for the corn canopy VWC; and an R-2 of 0.78 for the soybean plant VWC, an R-2 of 0.85 for the soybean canopy VWC, respectively.