Developing satellite-derived estimates of surface moisture status

R. Nemani, L. Pierce, S. Running, S. Goward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

354 Scopus citations


We explore the remotely sensed surface temperature (Ts)/normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) relationship regarding: 1) influence of biome type on the slope of Ts/NDVI, 2) automating the definition of the relationship so that the surface moisture status can be compared with Ts/NDVI at continental scales. The analysis was carried out using: 1) NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data over a 300-km × 300-km area in western Montana under various land-use practices (grass, crops, and forests), 2) Earth Resources Observations Systems Data Center continental US biweekly composite AVHRR data. Results from the automated approach agreed well with those using manual selection. At continental scales, the slope of Ts/NDVI is strongly correlated to crop-moisture index values indicating that Ts/NDVI relation is sensitive to surface moisture conditions. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-557
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993


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