Remote Sensing of Land Surface Phenology: A Prospectus

  • Geoffrey M. HenebryEmail author
  • Kirsten M. de Beurs


The process of observing land surface phenology (or LSP) using remote sensing satellites is fundamentally different from ground level observation of phenophase transition of specific organisms. The scale disparity between the spatial extent of the organisms and the spatial resolution of the sensor leads to an ill-defined mixture of target and background or signal and noise. Much progress has been made in the monitoring and modeling of land surface phenologies over the past decade. The chapter first provides a brief overview of land surface phenology, starting with the Landsat 1 in 1972, and then proceeds to a survey of current LSP products. The problem of indistinct phenometrics in remote sensing data is considered and the alternative phenometrics derived from the convex quadratic model are presented with an application in the North American Great Plains using MODIS data from 2001 to 2012. The chapter concludes with a view forward to outstanding challenges for LSP research in the coming decade.


Vegetation Index Land Surface Temperature Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer Enhance Vegetation Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Research was supported in part by NASA grants NNX11AB77G to KMdB and NNX12AM89G to GMH.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geographic Information Science Center of ExcellenceSouth Dakota State UniversityBrookingsUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Environmental SustainabilityThe University of OklahomaNormanUSA

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