Linearization of NDVI based on its relationship with vegetation fraction

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Journal Article
Photogrammetry Engineering & Remote Sensing, 2010, 76 (8), pp. 545 - 561
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The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is widely used for global monitoring of land surface vegetation dynamics from space. However, it is well documented that the NDVI approaches saturation asymptotically over highly vegetated areas. In this study, a linearized NDVI (LNDVI) is derived by introducing a linearity-adjustment factor, beta, into the NDVI equation to improve the linearity of the relationship with vegetation fraction and mitigate the saturation problem encountered by NDVI. The linearity of the LNDVI is demonstrated using a ground-observed data set and a model-simulated data set. A functional relationship and consistence of LNDVI with other NDVI adaptations are found, providing independent justification of the value of the NDVI adaptations. Due to its improved linearity with vegetation fraction, this index would provide more accurate monitoring of vegetation dynamics and estimation of biophysical parameters. The LNDVI can be derived from historical NDVI datasets directly without knowledge of input reflectances.
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