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Use of Normalized Difference Water Index for monitoring live fuel moisture

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Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) were compared for monitoring live fuel moisture in a shrubland ecosystem. Both indices were calculated from 500?m spatial resolution Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectance data covering a 33-month period from 2000 to 2002. Both NDVI and NDWI were positively correlated with live fuel moisture measured by the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACFD). NDVI had R 2 values ranging between 0.25 to 0.60, while NDWI had significantly higher R 2 values, varying between 0.39 and 0.80. Water absorption measures, such as NDWI, may prove more appropriate for monitoring live fuel moisture than measures of chlorophyll absorption such as NDVI.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Fire Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 4955 Canyon Crest Drive, Riverside, California 92507, USA

Publication date: 2005-03-01

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