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APPLICATION OF VEGETATION INDICES

FOR CHANGE DETECTION.


SP 3508: Remote Sensing II

Nima Yoezer Tenzin, 142367H | Town and Country Planning | 4/2/2017


I ASSIGNMENT OUTLINE
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SP 3508: Remote Sensing II
Assignment 1
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Aim of the Assignment

 Application of vegetation indices for change detection


 Remote Sensing for vegetation and urban landscape analysis
 Support the regional planning project

Assignment 1

01. Review literature and find out three most common vegetation indices and explain their
usefulness.
02. Analyze the changes of vegetation cover of a selected area located in Southern/Uva province
during 10 years of time, using the identified three vegetation indices.
03. Comparatively explain the results and name the most suitable index to interpret the
temporal changes of vegetation cover in Uva/Southern Province.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Assignment Outline……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….1
1 Vegetation Indices……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3

1.1 NDVI………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3

1.2 SAVI………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4

1.3 RVI………………………………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………5

2 Application of Vegetation Indices for Change Detection analysis in Southern Province……………6

2.1 2.1 Comparison of all the Indices side by side…………………………………………………………………….7

3 Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………10

4 References………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..10

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1 VEGETATION INDICES

A vegetation index is generated by combining data from multiple spectral bands into a single value using simple algebraic formulations. Vegetation
indices are used to enhance the vegetation signal in a remotely sensed data and provides an approximate measure of the vegetation amount. It can
also be used to study the changes of vegetation cover over a period of time and can help planners understand how development causes vegetation
to shrink.

The rationale for vegetation indices is to exploit the unique spectral signature of green vegetation as compared to spectral signatures of other earth
materials. Green leaves have a distinct spectral reflectance pattern in the visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Reflectances in the blue and red
regions are very low, with a slightly higher reflectance in the green region. In the near-infrared (NIR), the spectral response of green leaves is much
greater than in any portion of the visible.

Most indices compare the differences between the red and near-infrared reflectances. Red (or visible) reflectance is sensitive to chlorophyll
content and the near-infrared reflectance is sensitive to the mesophyll structure of leaves. In a given image scene or pixel (picture element), the
greater the difference between the red (or visible) and near-infrared reflectances, the greater the amount of green vegetation present. Small
differences between the red (or visible) and near-infrared reflectances indicate a scene or pixel containing mostly bare soil or other non-green
materials.

1.1 NDVI (NORMALIZED DIFFERENCE VEGETATION INDEX)

The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is a numerical indicator that uses the
visible and near-infrared bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, and is adopted to analyze
remote sensing measurements and assess whether the target being observed contains live
green vegetation or not.

Calculation of NDVI

𝑁𝐼𝑅 − 𝑅𝐸𝐷
𝑁𝐷𝑉𝐼 =
𝑁𝐼𝑅 + 𝑅𝐸𝐷

Characteristic NDVI Signatures

NDVI values range from -1 to +1.

Negative values (values . Values close to zero (-0.1 to 0.1) Low, positive values( approximately 0.2 high values(values approaching 1)
approaching -1) to 0.4)
Corresponds to deep water, Corresponds to barren areas of Represents shrub harvested vegetation, Indicates temperate, tropical rainforests and a healthy
soil with water and rock, sand, or snow. immature vegetation and grassland vegetation
marshes.

Image after Application of NDVI


True color image Basic Image in IR
-ve values- corresponds to water(light color)
+ve values corresponds to vegetation (light
green color)
Application of NDVI

 NDVI provides a crude estimate of vegetation health and a means of monitoring changes in vegetation over time, and it remains the most
well-known and used index to detect live green plant canopies in multispectral remote sensing data.
 Rangeland Uses: The uses include assessing or monitoring:
 vegetation dynamics or plant phenological changes over time
 Vegetation and land use mapping
 grazing impacts or attributes related to grazing management (e.g., stocking rates)
 changes in rangeland condition

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Limitations

 Mathematically, the sum and the difference of the two spectral channels contain the same information as the original data, but the
difference alone (or the normalized difference) carries only part of the initial information.
 Light from the soil surface can influence the NDVI values by a large degree. Many semi-arid and arid environments tend to have higher
cover of bare ground and exposed rock than other temperate or tropical habitats. The soil surface impact on NDVI values was greatest in
areas with between 45% and 70% vegetative cover.
 NDVI also suffers from a loss of sensitivity to changes in amount of vegetation at the high-cover/biomass end. This means that as the
amount of green vegetation increases, the change in NDVI gets smaller and smaller. So at very high NDVI values, a small change in NDVI
may actually represent a very large change in vegetation.
 Deep (optically thick) clouds may be quite noticeable in satellite imagery and yield characteristic NDVI values that ease their screening.
Similarly, cloud shadows in areas that appear clear can affect NDVI values and lead to misinterpretations.
 All surfaces (whether natural or man-made) reflect light differently in different directions, and this form of anisotropy is generally
spectrally dependent, even if the general tendency may be similar in these two spectral bands. As a result, the value of NDVI may depend
on the particular anisotropy of the target and on the angular geometry of illumination and observation at the time of the measurements,
and hence on the position of the target of interest within the swath of the instrument or the time of passage of the satellite over the site.

1.2 SAVI (Soil adjusted vegetation index)

In areas where vegetative cover is low (i.e., < 40%) and the soil surface is exposed, the reflectance of light in the red and near-infrared spectra can
influence vegetation index values. This is especially problematic when comparisons are being made across different soil types that may reflect
different amounts of light in the red and near infrared wavelengths (i.e., soils with different brightness values). The soil-adjusted vegetation index

was developed as a modification of


the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index to correct for the influence of soil brightness when vegetative cover is low.

Calculation of NDVI

𝑁𝐼𝑅 − 𝑅𝐸𝐷
𝑆𝐴𝑉𝐼 = 𝑥(1 + 𝐿)
𝑁𝐼𝑅 + 𝑅𝐸𝐷 + 𝐿
, where NIR is the reflectance value of the near infrared band, RED is reflectance of the red band, and L is the soil brightness correction factor. The
value of L varies by the amount or cover of green vegetation: in very high vegetation regions, L=0; and in areas with no green vegetation, L=1.
Generally, an L=0.5 works well in most situations and is the default value used. When L=0, then SAVI = NDVI.

Output: The output of SAVI is a new image layer with values ranging from -1 to 1. The lower the value, the lower the amount/cover of green
vegetation.

Usefulness:
 Useful for the monitoring of soils and vegetation.
 This index is best used in areas with relatively sparse vegetation where soil is visible through the canopy.
 Useful for monitoring vegetation with bare soils.

1.3 RVI (RATIO VEGTETATION INDEX)

The ratio Vegetation index is a simple band ratio index. Ratio Vegetation Index is the simplest vegetation index. It was one of the first two index
developed by Pearson and Miller (1972) in the form of ratios. RVI enhance the contrast between the ground and vegetation. It is less effected by
the effect of illumination conditions but are sensitive to ground optical properties.

𝑆𝑅 =𝑁𝐼𝑅/ 𝑅𝑒𝑑

It is a ratio based vegetation index. It is High for vegetation and Low for soil, ice, water, etc . It Indicates amount of vegetation.

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2 APPLICATION OF VEGETATION INDICES FOR CHANGE DETECTION ANALYSIS IN SOUTHERN PROVINCE.
The study area for this task is the southern province of Sri lanka. The
methodology used is outlined below

Methodology
• Literature review and selection of three indices
for Change detection analysis
• Obtaining landsat images from UGSC
earthexplorer.
• Importing the images to ERDAS Imagine
• Applying the Vegetation indices one by one
• Analysis of the result
• Comparision of the three indices and selection
of the Best indices
• Preparing Maps using erdas and Arc Gis
• Preparing report

RESULTS

Inferences

High file pixel = dense Vegetation therefore darker in color


Low file pixel value = water bodies therefore brighter in
color.

The whole area shows decreased in pixel value. Which


according to the value range means reduction in vegetation.
But when we compare with other indices not all areas show
reduction. Clouds interference is visible as green patches.

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Inferences

Pixel -1 = water bodies (darker in color) Pixel +1 = dense


vegetation (brighter in color)

Notable cloud interferences. It produces better result than RVI.


Subtle changes is recorded more properly by NDVI than RVI.

Inferences

Pixel -1 = water bodies (darker in color)


Pixel +1 = dense vegetation (brighter in color)

SAVI and NDVI shows almost similar result but SAVI shows finer
vegetation changes more than the NDVI.
By comparison SAVI does better but NDVI is also a good option.
All three indices are affected largely by the cloud cover.

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2.1 COMPARISON OF ALL THE INDICES SIDE BY SIDE

The RVI image is not so clear in terms of separating vegetation from water and other land uses. The change detection over time is also poor as seen above.

NDVI looks promising as it identifies the vegetation more properly. But however the final result is distorted due to the presence of clouds.

SAVI produces better identification of vegetation and manmade structures such as roads. 8
CHANGES 1: HAMANTOTA HARBOUR DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
The Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port also known as port of hambantota is a maritime port in Hambantota. The construction began in January 2008 and was
opened on 18th November 2010. Below are side by side comparison of 2003 and 2017 images of the area. It shows the area before and after the completion of
the port.
Comparing the indices, SAVI does a better job at showing the changes in the area. Since it considers the Vegetation cover as a factor it represents the change
more accurately than NDVI. RVI shows the least promising result.

TRUE COLOR 2003 2017

RVI 2003 2017


There is not much distinction between lighet and darker values when compare to SAVI and NDVI.

NDVI 2003 2017


The new development and the road patterns can be seen clearly though the values for roads and water is almost similar.

SAVI 2003 2017


SAVI does better than the others. Roads have lighter values compare to water bodies.

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CHANGEES 2: EFFECTS OF SOUTHERN EXPRESSWAY ON EXISTING WETLANDS.

Construction of the highway began in 2006 and completion up to Galle was done in November 2011. Later in March 2014, the section from Galle
to Matara was declared open for the public. The extension of the expressway to Hambantota was inaugurated on 4 July 2015.

True Color (marshes and wetlands highlighted by the ellipse) 2003 (Southern Expressway can be seen in orange line) 2017

RVI 2003 2017


The RVI is affected by cloud cover and does not show proper distinction between vegetation and manmade structure.

NDVI 2003 2017


The NDVI does better than RVI but is largely affected by clouds. The settlement pattern and the development of new roads can be seen clearly.

SAVI 2003 2017


By comparison SAVI does better though it is affected by clouds. The change in vegetation can be seen easily.

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3 CONCLUSION

Compared to the three indices chosen for the study, RVI performs the least and SAVI performs the best.

RVI is weak when the vegetation cover is sparse but does well in thick vegetation cover. RVI is also sensitive to atmospheric affects. Overall it
doesn’t differentiate clearly between vegetation and water. It is a simple Band division of Red and NIR and it is susceptible to various external
conditions.

NDVI is better than RVI. NDVI does not eliminate atmospheric effects, light from the soil surface can influence the NDVI values by a large degree,
and deep (optically thick) clouds may be quite noticeable in satellite imagery and yield characteristic NDVI values that ease their screening.
Similarly, cloud shadows in areas that appear clear can affect NDVI values and lead to misinterpretations.

SAVI is a modified version of NDVI which introduces the L factor which is the soil brightness correction factor. By including this factor it corrects
the interference produced in the NDVI by soil characteristics and different vegetation cover. When comparing the three indices in the above study
SAVI proves to be a better for choice for change detection and land use change analysis.

4 REFERENCES

Fadaei, H., Suzuki, R., Sakai, T., & Tori, K. (2012). A PROPOSED NEW VEGETATION INDEX, THE TOTAL RATIO VEGETATION INDEX. Melbourne:
International Archives of the Photogrammetry.

Jackson, R. D., & Huete, A. R. (1991). Intrepreting Vegetation indices. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 185-200.

Ji, L., & Peters, A. J. (2007). Performance evaluation of spectral vegetation. Lincoln: USGS.

Jiang, Z., Huete, A. R., Li, J., & Qi, J. (2007). intrepetation of the modified soil adjusted vegetation index isolines in red-NIR reflectance space. Journal of
Applied Remote Sensing, 1-12.

Vina, A., Gitelson, A. A., Nguy-Robertson, A. L., & Peng, Y. (2011). Comparasion of different vegetation indices for the remote assessment of green leaf
area index of crops. Retrieved from elsevier: www.elsevier.com/locate/rse

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