EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Winter wheat growth dynamics and their relationship with the field productivity using Sentinel-1 SAR polarimetry

Nikolaos-Christos Vavlas1,2, Toby Waine2, Jeroen Meersmans3, and Goetz Richter1
Nikolaos-Christos Vavlas et al.
  • 1Rothamsted Research, Sustainable Agriculture Sciences , Harpenden, UK (
  • 2Cranfield University,School of Water Energy and Environment, Cranfield,UK
  • 3TERRA Teaching and Research Centre, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Gembloux 5030, Belgium

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is sensitive to the surface structure as well as dielectric properties, so can be used to quantify the canopy characteristics and surface moisture. High temporal frequency SAR backscatter data are useful in terms of quantifying crop phenological development, growth and yield formation. The aim of this research is to identify the growth dynamics of winter wheat from SAR at field scale, validated using farm sites with different productivity between two years (2018-2019). We identify and explore the parameters which characterize crop performance from SAR temporal curves and use these to improve and automate the monitoring of wheat fields. Our novel methodology includes the extraction of crop indicators using the VH/VV ratio temporal curve from Sentinel-1. Sigmoid curve fitting is used to simulate the VH/VV response and the extracted parameters are related to the field development. The results show that specific indicators, such as the duration of the high vegetation (stem elongation to dough development) as well as the timing of the booting stage of wheat significantly correlate with the final yield. Other indicators can provide information about the canopy characteristics of wheat (e.g. above ground biomass and plant water content). The combination of selected indicators can provide a more robust analysis of the fields. These results demonstrate the potential of SAR to remotely quantify yield without using any management data from the farm.

How to cite: Vavlas, N.-C., Waine, T., Meersmans, J., and Richter, G.: Winter wheat growth dynamics and their relationship with the field productivity using Sentinel-1 SAR polarimetry, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20800,, 2020

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Display material version 1 – uploaded on 05 May 2020
  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-20800, Ioanna Panagea, 06 May 2020

    Really intresting work. I hope to manage to make the tool at the end