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Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11070851

Replacing the Red Band with the Red-SWIR Band (0.74ρred+0.26ρswir) Can Reduce the Sensitivity of Vegetation Indices to Soil Background

1
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
Beijing Engineering Research Center for Global Land Remote Sensing Products, Institute of Remote Sensing Science and Engineering, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
4
Key Laboratory of Agricultural Remote Sensing (AGRIRS), Ministry of Agriculture/Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensing in Agriculture and Vegetation)
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Abstract

Most vegetation indices (VIs) of remote sensing were designed based on the concept of soil-line, which represents a linear correlation between bare soil reflectance at the red and near-infrared (NIR) bands. Unfortunately, the soil-line can only suppress brightness variation, not color differences of bare soil. Consequently, soil variation has a considerable impact on vegetation indices, although significant efforts have been devoted to this issue. In this study, a new soil-line is established in a new feature space of the NIR band and a virtual band that combines the red and shortwave-infrared (SWIR) bands (0.74ρred+0.26ρswir). Then, plus versions of vegetation indices (VI+), i.e., normalized difference vegetation index plus (NDVI+), enhanced vegetation index plus (EVI+), soil-adjusted vegetation index plus (SAVI+), and modified soil-adjusted vegetation index plus (MSAVI+), are proposed based on the new soil-line, which replaces the red band with the red-SWIR band in the vegetation indices. Soil spectral data from several spectral libraries confirm that bare soil has much less variation for VI+ than the original VI. Simulation experiments show that VI+ correlates better with fractional vegetation coverage (FVC) and leaf area index (LAI) than original VI. Ground measured LAI data collected from BigFoot, VALERI, and other previous references also confirm that VI+ derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data correlates better with ground measured LAI than original VI. These data analyses suggest that replacing the red band with the red-SWIR band can reduce the sensitivity of VIs to soil background. We recommend employing the proposed NDVI+, EVI+, SAVI+, and MSAVI+ in applications of large area, sparse vegetation, or when soil color variation cannot be neglected, although sensitivity to soil moisture and clay content might cause slight side effects for the proposed VI+s. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetation index; soil-line; soil sensitivity; red-SWIR band vegetation index; soil-line; soil sensitivity; red-SWIR band
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Chen, X.; Guo, Z.; Chen, J.; Yang, W.; Yao, Y.; Zhang, C.; Cui, X.; Cao, X. Replacing the Red Band with the Red-SWIR Band (0.74ρred+0.26ρswir) Can Reduce the Sensitivity of Vegetation Indices to Soil Background. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 851.

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