Vegetation phenology from Sentinel-2 and field cameras for a Dutch barrier island

A. Vrieling (Corresponding Author), Michele Meroni, R. Darvishzadeh, A.K. Skidmore, Tiejun Wang, R. Zurita-Milla, Kees Oosterbeek, Brian O'Connor, Paganini Marc

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Abstract

Remote sensing studies of vegetation phenology increasingly benefit from freely available satellite imagery acquired with high temporal frequency at fine spatial resolution. Particularly for heterogeneous landscapes this is good news, given the drawback of medium-resolution sensors commonly used for phenology retrieval (e.g., MODIS) to properly represent the fine-scale spatial variability of vegetation types. The Sentinel-2 mission acquires spectral data globally at 10 to 60m resolution every five days. To illustrate the mission's potential for
studying vegetation phenology, we retrieved phenological parameters for the Dutch barrier island Schiermonnikoog for a full season of Sentinel-2A observations in 2016. Overlapping orbits resulted in two acquisitions
per 10 days, similar to what is achieved globally since the launch of Sentinel-2B. For eight locations on the island's salt marsh we compared greenness chromatic coordinate (GCC) series derived from digital repeat RGB-cameras with vegetation index series derived from Sentinel-2 (NDVI and GCC). For each series, a double
hyperbolic tangent model was fitted and thresholds were applied to the modelled data to estimate start-, peak-, and end-of-season (SOS/PS/EOS). Variability in Sentinel-2 derived SOS, when taken as the midpoint between
minimum and peak NDVI, was well-explained by camera GCC-based SOS (R2=0.74, MSD=8.0 days, RMSD=13.0 days). However, EOS estimates from camera GCC series were on average almost two months before NDVI-based estimates. This could partially be explained by the observed exponential relationship between GCC and NDVI, as well as by the combined effect of viewing angle differences and the presence of nonphotosynthetic elements in the vegetation canopy. A two-layer canopy radiative transfer model incorporating
reduced chlorophyll levels in the upper layer provided a physically-based explanation of the viewing angle effect. Finally, we applied the phenology retrieval approach to NDVI series for all pixels of the island in order to
map spatial patterns of phenology at fine resolution. Our results demonstrate the potential of the Sentinel-2 mission for providing spatially-detailed retrievals of phenology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-529
Number of pages13
JournalRemote sensing of environment
Volume215
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2018

Fingerprint

barrier island
cameras
phenology
NDVI
Cameras
vegetation
Earth Observing System
color
EOS
canopy
Satellite imagery
Radiative transfer
Chlorophyll
orbits
moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer
vegetation index
Remote sensing
salt marshes
Orbits
saltmarsh

Keywords

  • phenology
  • multi-temporal analysis
  • NDVI time series
  • Sentinel-2
  • spatial resolution
  • radiative transfer modelling
  • landscape variability
  • salt marsh
  • digital repeat photography
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE
  • ITC-HYBRID
  • Digital repeat photography
  • Salt marsh
  • Multi-temporal analysis
  • Phenology
  • Landscape variability
  • Radiative transfer modelling
  • Spatial resolution

Cite this

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title = "Vegetation phenology from Sentinel-2 and field cameras for a Dutch barrier island",
abstract = "Remote sensing studies of vegetation phenology increasingly benefit from freely available satellite imagery acquired with high temporal frequency at fine spatial resolution. Particularly for heterogeneous landscapes this is good news, given the drawback of medium-resolution sensors commonly used for phenology retrieval (e.g., MODIS) to properly represent the fine-scale spatial variability of vegetation types. The Sentinel-2 mission acquires spectral data globally at 10 to 60m resolution every five days. To illustrate the mission's potential forstudying vegetation phenology, we retrieved phenological parameters for the Dutch barrier island Schiermonnikoog for a full season of Sentinel-2A observations in 2016. Overlapping orbits resulted in two acquisitionsper 10 days, similar to what is achieved globally since the launch of Sentinel-2B. For eight locations on the island's salt marsh we compared greenness chromatic coordinate (GCC) series derived from digital repeat RGB-cameras with vegetation index series derived from Sentinel-2 (NDVI and GCC). For each series, a doublehyperbolic tangent model was fitted and thresholds were applied to the modelled data to estimate start-, peak-, and end-of-season (SOS/PS/EOS). Variability in Sentinel-2 derived SOS, when taken as the midpoint betweenminimum and peak NDVI, was well-explained by camera GCC-based SOS (R2=0.74, MSD=8.0 days, RMSD=13.0 days). However, EOS estimates from camera GCC series were on average almost two months before NDVI-based estimates. This could partially be explained by the observed exponential relationship between GCC and NDVI, as well as by the combined effect of viewing angle differences and the presence of nonphotosynthetic elements in the vegetation canopy. A two-layer canopy radiative transfer model incorporatingreduced chlorophyll levels in the upper layer provided a physically-based explanation of the viewing angle effect. Finally, we applied the phenology retrieval approach to NDVI series for all pixels of the island in order tomap spatial patterns of phenology at fine resolution. Our results demonstrate the potential of the Sentinel-2 mission for providing spatially-detailed retrievals of phenology.",
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author = "A. Vrieling and Michele Meroni and R. Darvishzadeh and A.K. Skidmore and Tiejun Wang and R. Zurita-Milla and Kees Oosterbeek and Brian O'Connor and Paganini Marc",
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Vegetation phenology from Sentinel-2 and field cameras for a Dutch barrier island. / Vrieling, A. (Corresponding Author); Meroni, Michele; Darvishzadeh, R.; Skidmore, A.K.; Wang, Tiejun; Zurita-Milla, R.; Oosterbeek, Kees; O'Connor, Brian; Marc, Paganini.

In: Remote sensing of environment, Vol. 215, 15.09.2018, p. 517-529.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Vegetation phenology from Sentinel-2 and field cameras for a Dutch barrier island

AU - Vrieling, A.

AU - Meroni, Michele

AU - Darvishzadeh, R.

AU - Skidmore, A.K.

AU - Wang, Tiejun

AU - Zurita-Milla, R.

AU - Oosterbeek, Kees

AU - O'Connor, Brian

AU - Marc, Paganini

PY - 2018/9/15

Y1 - 2018/9/15

N2 - Remote sensing studies of vegetation phenology increasingly benefit from freely available satellite imagery acquired with high temporal frequency at fine spatial resolution. Particularly for heterogeneous landscapes this is good news, given the drawback of medium-resolution sensors commonly used for phenology retrieval (e.g., MODIS) to properly represent the fine-scale spatial variability of vegetation types. The Sentinel-2 mission acquires spectral data globally at 10 to 60m resolution every five days. To illustrate the mission's potential forstudying vegetation phenology, we retrieved phenological parameters for the Dutch barrier island Schiermonnikoog for a full season of Sentinel-2A observations in 2016. Overlapping orbits resulted in two acquisitionsper 10 days, similar to what is achieved globally since the launch of Sentinel-2B. For eight locations on the island's salt marsh we compared greenness chromatic coordinate (GCC) series derived from digital repeat RGB-cameras with vegetation index series derived from Sentinel-2 (NDVI and GCC). For each series, a doublehyperbolic tangent model was fitted and thresholds were applied to the modelled data to estimate start-, peak-, and end-of-season (SOS/PS/EOS). Variability in Sentinel-2 derived SOS, when taken as the midpoint betweenminimum and peak NDVI, was well-explained by camera GCC-based SOS (R2=0.74, MSD=8.0 days, RMSD=13.0 days). However, EOS estimates from camera GCC series were on average almost two months before NDVI-based estimates. This could partially be explained by the observed exponential relationship between GCC and NDVI, as well as by the combined effect of viewing angle differences and the presence of nonphotosynthetic elements in the vegetation canopy. A two-layer canopy radiative transfer model incorporatingreduced chlorophyll levels in the upper layer provided a physically-based explanation of the viewing angle effect. Finally, we applied the phenology retrieval approach to NDVI series for all pixels of the island in order tomap spatial patterns of phenology at fine resolution. Our results demonstrate the potential of the Sentinel-2 mission for providing spatially-detailed retrievals of phenology.

AB - Remote sensing studies of vegetation phenology increasingly benefit from freely available satellite imagery acquired with high temporal frequency at fine spatial resolution. Particularly for heterogeneous landscapes this is good news, given the drawback of medium-resolution sensors commonly used for phenology retrieval (e.g., MODIS) to properly represent the fine-scale spatial variability of vegetation types. The Sentinel-2 mission acquires spectral data globally at 10 to 60m resolution every five days. To illustrate the mission's potential forstudying vegetation phenology, we retrieved phenological parameters for the Dutch barrier island Schiermonnikoog for a full season of Sentinel-2A observations in 2016. Overlapping orbits resulted in two acquisitionsper 10 days, similar to what is achieved globally since the launch of Sentinel-2B. For eight locations on the island's salt marsh we compared greenness chromatic coordinate (GCC) series derived from digital repeat RGB-cameras with vegetation index series derived from Sentinel-2 (NDVI and GCC). For each series, a doublehyperbolic tangent model was fitted and thresholds were applied to the modelled data to estimate start-, peak-, and end-of-season (SOS/PS/EOS). Variability in Sentinel-2 derived SOS, when taken as the midpoint betweenminimum and peak NDVI, was well-explained by camera GCC-based SOS (R2=0.74, MSD=8.0 days, RMSD=13.0 days). However, EOS estimates from camera GCC series were on average almost two months before NDVI-based estimates. This could partially be explained by the observed exponential relationship between GCC and NDVI, as well as by the combined effect of viewing angle differences and the presence of nonphotosynthetic elements in the vegetation canopy. A two-layer canopy radiative transfer model incorporatingreduced chlorophyll levels in the upper layer provided a physically-based explanation of the viewing angle effect. Finally, we applied the phenology retrieval approach to NDVI series for all pixels of the island in order tomap spatial patterns of phenology at fine resolution. Our results demonstrate the potential of the Sentinel-2 mission for providing spatially-detailed retrievals of phenology.

KW - phenology

KW - multi-temporal analysis

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KW - spatial resolution

KW - radiative transfer modelling

KW - landscape variability

KW - salt marsh

KW - digital repeat photography

KW - ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE

KW - ITC-HYBRID

KW - Digital repeat photography

KW - Salt marsh

KW - Multi-temporal analysis

KW - Phenology

KW - Landscape variability

KW - Radiative transfer modelling

KW - Spatial resolution

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