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Band depth analysis of CHRIS/PROBA data for the study of a Mediterranean natural ecosystem. Correlations with leaf optical properties and ecophysiological parameters

Sykioti, Olga, Paronis, Dimitris, Stagakis, Stavros, Kyparissis, Aris
Remote sensing of environment 2011 v.115 no.2 pp. 752-766
absorption, ecophysiology, ecosystems, leaf area index, leaf water potential, leaves, optical properties, pigments, remote sensing, shrubs, wavelengths, wet season
The absorption feature approach was used in CHRIS multiangular hyperspectral data in order to investigate its potential for ecosystem remote sensing. For that purpose, CHRIS images in mode 1 were acquired throughout a two-year period for a Mediterranean ecosystem dominated by the semi-deciduous shrub Phlomis fruticosa. During each acquisition, coincident in situ Leaf spectra and ecophysiological measurements (Leaf Area Index, leaf pigment content and leaf water potential) were conducted. After data preprocessing, absorption feature information was calculated for both CHRIS and Leaf spectra for the whole spectrum. Three common characteristic absorption features within the spectral areas 450–550nm, 550–750nm and 900–1000nm were detected. Each spectral area was then examined separately and four characteristic parameters were calculated that described the pattern, magnitude and position of the maximum absorption. Correlations between CHRIS and Leaf spectra for each date and viewing angle (VA) were then conducted. All correlations, either on full continuum removed spectra or on spectral areas, showed high coefficients of determination, especially (i) in higher observation angles (VA +55), (ii) during the wet season and (iii) in strong absorptions such as the “red absorption”. Subsequently, correlations between CHRIS and Leaf absorption parameters of selected spectral areas with field-measured ecophysiological parameters were examined. Ecophysiological parameters proved to be highly correlated to CHRIS and Leaf absorption parameters in magnitude and/or pattern of the absorption feature and less in wavelength of the maximum absorption. CHRIS VAs +/− 36 showed the highest correlations although the type of relation, linear or nonlinear, was not conclusive. Finally, a first comparison between narrowband spectral indices and absorption features in correlations with ecophysiological parameters showed that both methods provide significant and comparable results, with oblique angles showing best performance. However, ecophysiological parameters are generally better predicted linearly by narrowband spectral indices issued from CHRIS, with most significant differences appearing on pigments absorbing mainly within 450–550nm.