EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Generalization of Vegetation Indices for Monitoring the Terrestrial Biosphere

Gustau Camps-Valls1, Manuel Campos-Taberner1, Alvaro Moreno-Martinez1, Sophia Walther2, Grégory Duveiller3, Alessandro Cescatti3, Miguel Mahecha4, Jordi Muñoz-Marí1, Francisco Javier Garcı́a-Haro1, Luis Guanter5, John Gamon6, Martin Jung2, Markus Reichstein2, and Steven W. Running7
Gustau Camps-Valls et al.
  • 1Image Processing Laboratory (IPL), Universitat de València , València., Spain (
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
  • 3European Commission Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
  • 4Remote Sensing Centre for Earth System Research, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
  • 5Universitat Politècnica de València, València, Spain
  • 6University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 7Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group (NTSG), University of Montana, Missoula, USA

Vegetation indices are the most widely used tool in remote sensing and multispectral imaging applications. This paper introduces a nonlinear generalization of the broad family of vegetation indices based on spectral band differences and ratios. The presented indices exploit all higher-order relations of the involved spectral channels, are easy to derive and use, and give some insight on problem complexity. The framework is illustrated to generalize the widely adopted Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Its nonlinear generalization named, kernel NDVI (kNDVI), largely improves performance over NDVI and the recent NIRv in monitoring key vegetation parameters, showing much higher correlation with independent products, such as the MODIS leaf area index (LAI), flux tower gross primary productivity (GPP), and GOME-2 sun-induced fluorescence. The family of indices constitutes a valuable choice for many applications that require spatially explicit and time-resolved analysis of Earth observation data.

Reference: "A Unified Vegetation Index for Quantifying the Terrestrial Biosphere", Gustau Camps-Valls, Manuel Campos-Taberner, Álvaro Moreno-Martı́nez, Sophia Walther, Grégory Duveiller, Alessandro Cescatti, Miguel Mahecha, Jordi Muñoz-Marı́, Francisco Javier Garcı́a-Haro, Luis Guanter, John Gamon, Martin Jung, Markus Reichstein, Steven W. Running. Science Advances, in press, 2021

How to cite: Camps-Valls, G., Campos-Taberner, M., Moreno-Martinez, A., Walther, S., Duveiller, G., Cescatti, A., Mahecha, M., Muñoz-Marí, J., Garcı́a-Haro, F. J., Guanter, L., Gamon, J., Jung, M., Reichstein, M., and Running, S. W.: Generalization of Vegetation Indices for Monitoring the Terrestrial Biosphere, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14263,, 2021.

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