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Bayesian Dynamic Linear Models for Estimation of Phenological Events from Remote Sensing Data
- Johnson, Margaret, Caragea, Petruţa C., Meiring, Wendy, Jeganathan, C., Atkinson, Peter M.
- Journal of agricultural, biological, and environmental statistics 2019 v.24 no.1 pp. 1-25
- Bayesian theory, climate, growing season, linear models, phenology, spatial data, time series analysis, uncertainty, vegetation, vegetation index, weather, India
- Estimating the timing of the occurrence of events that characterize growth cycles in vegetation from time series of remote sensing data is desirable for a wide area of applications. For example, the timings of plant life cycle events are very sensitive to weather conditions and are often used to assess the impacts of changes in weather and climate. Likewise, understanding crop phenology can have a large impact on agricultural strategies. To study phenology using remote sensing data, the timings of annual phenological events must be estimated from noisy time series that may have many missing values. Many current state-of-the-art methods consist of smoothing time series and estimating events as features of smoothed curves. A shortcoming of many of these methods is that they do not easily handle missing values and require imputation as a preprocessing step. In addition, while some currently used methods may be extendable to allow for temporal uncertainty quantification, uncertainty intervals are not usually provided with phenological event estimates. We propose methodology utilizing Bayesian dynamic linear models to estimate the timing of key phenological events from remote sensing data with uncertainty intervals. We illustrate the methodology on weekly vegetation index data from 2003 to 2007 over a region of southern India, focusing on estimating the timing of start of season and peak of greenness. Additionally, we present methods utilizing the Bayesian formulation and MCMC simulation of the model to estimate the probability that more than one growing season occurred in a given year. Supplementary materials accompanying this paper appear online.