Development of a two-band enhanced vegetation index without a blue band

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Journal Article
Remote Sensing Of Environment, 2008, 112 (10), pp. 3833 - 3845
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The enhanced vegetation index (EVI) was developed as a standard satellite vegetation product for the Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS). EVI provides improved sensitivity in high biomass regions while minimizing soil and atmosphere influences, however, is limited to sensor systems designed with a blue band, in addition to the red and near-infrared bands, making it difficult to generate long-term EVI time series as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) counterpart. The purpose of this study is to develop and evaluate a 2-band EVI (EVI2), without a blue band, which has the best similarity with the 3-band EVI, particularly when atmospheric effects are insignificant and data quality is good. A linearity-adjustment factor ? is proposed and coupled with the soil-adjustment factor L used in the soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI) to develop EVI2. A global land cover dataset of Terra MODIS data extracted over land community validation and FLUXNET test sites is used to develop the optimal parameter (L, ? and G) values in EVI2 equation and achieve the best similarity between EVI and EVI2. The similarity between the two indices is evaluated and demonstrated with temporal profiles of vegetation dynamics at local and global scales. Our results demonstrate that the differences between EVI and EVI2 are insignificant (within ± 0.02) over a very large sample of snow/ice-free land cover types, phenologies, and scales when atmospheric influences are insignificant, enabling EVI2 as an acceptable and accurate substitute of EVI. EVI2 can be used for sensors without a blue band, such as the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), and may reveal different vegetation dynamics in comparison with the current AVHRR NDVI dataset. However, cross-sensor continuity relationships for EVI2 remain to be studied.
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