Spatially detailed retrievals of spring phenology from single-season high-resolution image time series

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Vrieling, A., Skidmore, A. K., Wang, T., Meroni, M., Ens, B. J., Oosterbeek, K., O’Connor, B., Darvishzadeh, R., Heurich, M., Shepherd, A. and Paganini, M. 2017. Spatially detailed retrievals of spring phenology from single-season high-resolution image time series. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 59, pp. 19-30.

AuthorsVrieling, A., Skidmore, A. K., Wang, T., Meroni, M., Ens, B. J., Oosterbeek, K., O’Connor, B., Darvishzadeh, R., Heurich, M., Shepherd, A. and Paganini, M.
Abstract

Vegetation indices derived from satellite image time series have been extensively used to estimate the timing of phenological events like season onset. Medium spatial resolution (≥250 m) satellite sensors with daily revisit capability are typically employed for this purpose. In recent years, phenology is being retrieved at higher resolution (≤30 m) in response to increasing availability of high-resolution satellite data. To overcome the reduced acquisition frequency of such data, previous attempts involved fusion between high- and medium-resolution data, or combinations of multi-year acquisitions in a single phenological reconstruction. The objectives of this study are to demonstrate that phenological parameters can now be retrieved from single-season high-resolution time series, and to compare these retrievals against those derived from multi-year high-resolution and single-season medium-resolution satellite data. The study focuses on the island of Schiermonnikoog, the Netherlands, which comprises a highly-dynamic saltmarsh, dune vegetation, and agricultural land. Combining NDVI series derived from atmospherically-corrected images from RapidEye (5 m-resolution) and the SPOT5 Take5 experiment (10m-resolution) acquired between March and August 2015, phenological parameters were estimated using a function fitting approach. We then compared results with phenology retrieved from four years of 30 m Landsat 8 OLI data, and single-year 100 m Proba-V and 250 m MODIS temporal composites of the same period. Retrieved phenological parameters from combined RapidEye/SPOT5 displayed spatially consistent results and a large spatial variability, providing complementary information to existing vegetation community maps. Retrievals that combined four years of Landsat observations into a single synthetic year were affected by the inclusion of years with warmer spring temperatures, whereas adjustment of the average phenology to 2015 observations was only feasible for a few pixels due to cloud cover around phenological transition dates. The Proba-V and MODIS phenology retrievals scaled poorly relative to their high-resolution equivalents, indicating that medium-resolution phenology retrievals need to be interpreted with care, particularly in landscapes with fine-scale land cover variability.

Year of Publication2017
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
Journal citation59, pp. 19-30
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.jag.2017.02.021
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeThe North Wyke Farm Platform- National Capability [2017-22]
IDG Bristol University / North Wyke [2012-2017]
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online07 Mar 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Feb 2017
PublisherElsevier
Elsevier Science Bv
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN0303-2434

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