Toward generic models for green LAI estimation in maize and soybean: Satellite observations

Oz Kira, Anthony L. Nguy-Robertson, Timothy J. Arkebauer, Raphael Linker, Anatoly A. Gitelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Informative spectral bands for green leaf area index (LAI) estimation in two crops were identified and generic models for soybean and maize were developed and validated using spectral data taken at close range. The objective of this paper was to test developed models using Aqua and Terra MODIS, Landsat TM and ETM+, ENVISAT MERIS surface reflectance products, and simulated data of the recently-launched Sentinel 2 MSI and Sentinel 3 OLCI. Special emphasis was placed on testing generic models which require no re-parameterization for these species. Four techniques were investigated: support vector machines (SVM), neural network (NN), multiple linear regression (MLR), and vegetation indices (VI). For each technique two types of models were tested based on (a) reflectance data, taken at close range and resampled to simulate spectral bands of satellite sensors; and (b) surface reflectance satellite products. Both types of models were validated using MODIS, TM/ETM+, and MERIS data. MERIS was used as a prototype of OLCI Sentinel-3 data which allowed for assessment of the anticipated accuracy of OLCI. All models tested provided a robust and consistent selection of spectral bands related to green LAI in crops representing a wide range of biochemical and structural traits. The MERIS observations had the lowest errors (around 11%) compared to the remaining satellites with observational data. Sentinel 2 MSI and OLCI Sentinel 3 estimates, based on simulated data, had errors below 8%. However the accuracy of these models with actual MSI and OLCI surface reflectance products remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish GB
Article number318
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aqua
  • Landsat
  • Leaf area index
  • Neural network
  • Sentinel-2 MSI
  • Sentinel-3 OLCI
  • Support vector machine
  • Terra
  • Uninformative variable elimination technique
  • Vegetation index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)


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