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Observation of flooding and rice transplanting of paddy rice fields at the site to landscape scales in China using VEGETATION sensor data

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A unique physical feature of paddy rice fields is that rice is grown on flooded soil. During the period of flooding and rice transplanting, there is a large proportion of surface water in a land surface consisting of water, vegetation and soils. The VEGETATION (VGT) sensor has four spectral bands that are equivalent to spectral bands of Landsat TM, and its mid-infrared spectral band is very sensitive to soil moisture and plant canopy water content. In this study we evaluated a VGT-derived normalized difference water index (NDWIVGT=(B3-MIR)/ (B3+MIR)) for describing temporal and spatial dynamics of surface moisture. Twenty-seven 10-day composites (VGT- S10) from 1 March to 30 November 1999 were acquired and analysed for a study area (175 km by 165 km) in eastern Jiangsu Province, China, where a winter wheat and paddy rice double cropping system dominates the landscape. We compared the temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVIVGT) and NDWIVGT. The NDWIVGT temporal dynamics were sensitive enough to capture the substantial increases of surface water due to flooding and rice transplanting at paddy rice fields. A land use thematic map for the timing and location of flooding and rice transplanting was generated for the study area. Our results indicate that NDWI and NDVI temporal anomalies may provide a simple and effective tool for detection of flooding and rice transplanting across the landscape.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 22, 2002

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