Leaf Area Index (LAI) is essential in ecosystem and agronomic studies, since it measures energy and gas exchanges between vegetation and atmosphere. In the last decades, LAI values have widely been estimated from passive remotely sensed data. Common approaches are based on semi-empirical/statistic techniques or on radiative transfer model inversion. Although the scientific community has been providing several LAI retrieval methods, the estimated results are often affected by noise and measurement uncertainties.
The sequential data assimilation theory provides a theoretical framework to combine an imperfect model with incomplete observation data. In this document a data fusion Kalman filter algorithm is proposed in order to estimate the time evolution of LAI by combining MODIS LAI data and PROBA-V surface reflectance data. The reflectance data were linked to LAI by using the Reduced Simple Ratio index. The main working hypotheses were lacking input data necessary for climatic models and canopy reflectance models.
The quality of information derived from processed remotely sensed data may depend upon many factors, mostly related to the extent data acquisition is influenced by atmospheric conditions, topographic effects, sun angle and so on. The goal of radiometric corrections is to reduce such effects in order enhance the performance of change detection analysis. There are two approaches to radiometric correction: absolute and relative calibrations. Due to the large amount of free data products available, absolute radiometric calibration techniques may be time consuming and financially expensive because of the necessary inputs for absolute calibration models (often these data are not available and can be difficult to obtain). The relative approach to radiometric correction, known as relative radiometric normalization, is preferred with some research topics because no in situ ancillary data, at the time of satellite overpasses, are required. In this study we evaluated three well known relative radiometric correction techniques using two Landsat 8 - OLI scenes over a subset area of the Apulia Region (southern Italy): the IR-MAD (Iteratively Reweighted Multivariate Alteration Detection), the HM (Histogram Matching) and the DOS (Dark Object Subtraction). IR-MAD results were statistically assessed within a territory with an extremely heterogeneous landscape and all computations performed in a Matlab environment. The panchromatic and thermal bands were excluded from the comparisons.
Plastic covering is a common practice in agricultural fields. From an agronomic point of view, plastic coverings offer
many advantages against unfavourable growing conditions. This explains their widespread utilization with consequent
positive impact on local economy. On the other hand, plasticulture raises both environmental and landscape issues. In the
Apulia Region (Italy) the wide implementation of such practice generally relates to vineyard cultivation. Continuous
vineyard protection has resulted in negative effects on the hydrogeological balance of soils, causing a deep modification
of the traditional rural landscape and therefore affecting its quality. To guarantee both the protection of local economy as
well as the preservation of local environment and landscape features, a detailed site mapping of the areas involved is
necessary. Indeed, the quantification of this phenomenon is essential in the periodic updating of the existing land use
database and in the development of local policies. In this study we evaluate the potential of the novel Thermal Infrared
Sensor bands (TIRS) provided by the LANDSAT 8 mission in plasticulture discrimination. Using the evident anomaly
retrieved in the study area on the Quality Assessment (QA) band, a fast procedure involving TIRS data was developed,
proposing a new index (Plastic Surface Index- PSI) able to emphasize plasticulture. For the aim of this study, two
different acquisition dates on a test area in the Apulia region (Italy) were analyzed, one in the growing season with high
plastic covering density and one in the post-harvest period with low plastic cover density.
This work analyzes the potentiality of WorldView-2 satellite data for retrieving the Leaf Area Index (LAI) area located in Apulia, the most Eastern region of Italy, overlooking the Adriatic and Ionian seas. Lacking contemporary in-situ measurements, the semi-empiric method of Clevers (1989) (CLAIR model) was chosen as a feasible image-based LAI retrieval method, which is based on an inverse exponential relationship between the LAI and the WDVI (Weighted Difference Vegetation Index) with relation to different land covers. Results were examined in homogeneous land cover classes and compared with values obtained in recent literature.
LAI is defined as one sided green leaf area per unit ground area in broadleaf canopies and is an important input parameter to monitor crop growth conditions and to improve the performance of crop yield models. Because direct measurements of LAI are usually time-consuming and require continuous updates, remote sensing is an alternative to estimate this attribute over large areas as watershed scale. The primary objective of this work was to derive a reliable LAI estimation model from VHR satellite data to be compared with moderate resolution satellite products in order to improve LAI estimation performance for next validation activities. Due to lack of contemporaneous satellite and on-site sensor data acquisitions and intrinsic complexity of physical models, in our study case the semi-empirical approach with the CLAIR model was applied. It is based on an inverse exponential relationship between LAI and the WDVI (Weighted Difference Vegetation Index) related to different land covers. LAI values were generated from multispectral GeoEye-1 sensor data covering a time space of 5 years (2009-2013) to study crop phenological stages on the study area of the Carapelle watershed located in the North of Puglia region (Southern Italy). Data were preliminarily pre-processed (geometric and radiometric correction), classified (ISODATA method) and texture based analyzed in order to extract the vegetated areas (mainly cereal crops). Finally, the resulted maps were compared with moderate resolution satellite data by reaching a possible correspondence.