Examining NDVI at Low Vegetation Percentages: Is NDVI a Good Indicator of Vegetation Presence?




Geyer, Alyssa

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Vegetation research in arid and semi-arid environments tends to not only be costly but time consuming because they are either found in isolated areas and/or tend to cover large areas. Remote sensing has been a more cost efficient method in monitoring vegetation in these areas. Accurate data is needed for these areas not only for current research of the state of the land but also for simulation models that illustrate the interactions between land surfaces and the atmosphere.

A lab experiment was conducted using a vegetation component along with an ASD FieldSpec Pro Spectroradiometer to acquire reflectance values to calculate the NDVI values, which was followed up by performing a computer simulated experiment of the lab experiment.

The study was to explore NDVI values at low vegetation percentages, with two objectives: (1) if NDVI values at low vegetation percentages are good indicators of the presence of vegetation and (2) if a simulation experiment will provide similar results. Our conclusion is that NDVI is not a good indicator of vegetation presence in low vegetation cover areas and computer-based simulation does not produce the same results from the laboratory experiments.


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Arid, NDVI, Remote Sensing