Soil and Atmosphere Influences on the Spectra of Partial Canopies

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Journal Article
Remote Sensing Of Environment, 1988, 25 (1), pp. 89 - 105
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An atmospheric radiant transfer model was used to compare ground-measured radiances over partially vegetated canopies with their simulated responses at the top of a clear (100 km meteorological range) and a turbid (10 km) atmosphere. Radiance measurements in the first four bands of the Thematic Mapper were taken over incomplete cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana Nees) canopies with different soil backgrounds separately inserted underneath. Atmospheric influences on the spectra of partial canopies were found to be significantly dependent on the brightness of the underlying soil. The change in canopy red and near-infrared radiance between the ground and the top of the atmosphere was such that an increase, decrease, or no change could be observed, depending on the magnitude of the canopy substrate contribution. Both increasing soil brightness and atmospheric turbidity lowered the ratio (RVI) and normalized difference vegetation index values (NDVI). Consequently, atmospheric-induced RVI and NDVI degradation were greatest over canopies with darker soils and were not detectable over canopies with light-colored soils. In contrast, soil and atmospheric effects on the perpendicular vegetation index were independent with atmosphere degradation being similar across all soil backgrounds. Soil influences on vegetation indices from partial canopies were found to be of similar magnitude to those attributed to the atmosphere for the range of soil and atmosphere conditions examined here.
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