An Analysis of Angle-Based With Ratio-Based Vegetation Indices

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Journal Article
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 2006, 44 (9), pp. 2506 - 2513
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Remotely sensed, angle-based vegetation indices that measure vegetation amounts by the angle between an approximated soil line and a simulated vegetation isoline in the red-near-infrared reflectance space were developed and evaluated in this paper. Unsalan and Boyer previously proposed an angle-based vegetation index, thetas (denoted as thetas NDVI in this paper), based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) with the objective of overcoming the saturation problem in the NDVI. However, thetasNDVI did not consider strong soil background influences present in the NDVI. To reduce soil background noise, an angle-based vegetation index, thetasSAVI , based on the soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), was derived using trigonometric analysis. The performance of thetasNDVI and thetasSAVI was evaluated and compared with their corresponding vegetation indices, NDVI and SAVI. The soil background influence on thetasNDVI was found to be as significant as that on the NDVI. thetasNDVI was found to be more sensitive to vegetation amount than the NDVI at low vegetation density levels, but less sensitive to vegetation fraction at high vegetation density levels. Thus, the saturation effect at high vegetation density levels encountered in the NDVI was not mitigated by thetasNDVI. By contrast, thetasSAVI exhibited insignificant soil background effects and weaker saturation, as in SAVI, but also improved upon the dynamic range of SAVI. Analyses and evaluation suggest that thetasSAVI is an optimal vegetation index to assess and monitor vegetation cover across the entire range of vegetation fraction density levels and over a wide variety of soil backgrounds
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