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Potential vegetation indices for determining global forest cover

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The potential of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) data acquired in middle (MIR) and thermal infrared (TIR) wavelengths for deriving global forest cover information was examined. As an exploratory step, these wavelengths were related to percentage cover of temperate coniferous forests in the Cascade Range of Oregon, U.S.A. These wavelengths individually were not strongly related to percentage forest cover. However, their inclusion within vegetation indices served to strengthen relations between remotely-sensed data and forest cover. One such index was the complex division index (C3/(C1*C2*C4*C5)), which was also seen to separate among the four forest successional stages present at this site. These findings have implications for the use of remotely-sensed data acquired in MIR and TIR wavelengths for deriving global forest cover information.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 10 April 1997

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