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NDVI from low altitude aircraft and composited NOAA AVHRR data for scaling Arctic ecosystem fluxes

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The relationship between normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) patterns obtained from high spatial resolution aircraft and low spatial resolution satellite data (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)) was investigated with the intent of using multilevel data to scale carbon flux models in Arctic tundra ecosystems. Despite variable illumination conditions during the aircraft missions and maximum value compositing of the AVHRR data, the difference between 3 km average aircraft and AVHRR NDVI values was generally constant along each flight transect. However, the magnitude of the offset differed between flight dates and small lakes had a greater effect on area averaged aircraft NDVI values than on the satellite values. A cloud index was calculated using incident solar radiation measured by the aircraft and this index was used to identify periods when the aircraft NDVI values may have been biased by cloud cover. Removal of NDVI values based on a cloud index threshold did not appear to be justified given the marginal improvement in the relationship between the two NDVI datasets. If the systematic difference between AVHRR and aircraft NDVI values can be determined, then the scaling of carbon flux models based on the NDVI should be a viable approach in Arctic ecosystems.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography San Diego State University San Diego CA 92182 USA 2: Photon Engineering Inc 5720 Oberlin Drive San Diego CA 92121 USA

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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