Intercomparison of seven NDVI products over the United States and Mexico

William Scheftic, Xubin Zeng, Patrick Broxton, Michael Brunke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Satellites have provided large-scale monitoring of vegetation for over three decades, and several satellite-based Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) datasets have been produced. Here we intercompare four long-term NDVI datasets based largely on the AVHRR sensor (NDVIg, NDVI3g, STAR, VIP) and three datasets based on newer sensors (SPOT, Terra, Aqua) and evaluate the effectiveness of homogenizing the datasets using the green vegetation fraction (GVF) and the impact it has on phenology trends. Results show that all NDVI datasets are highly correlated with each other. However, there are significant differences in the regression slopes that vary spatially and temporally. There is a general trend towards higher maximum annual NDVI over much of the temperate forests of the US and a longer greening period due mostly to a delayed end of the season. These trends are less well-defined over rainfall dependent ecosystems in Mexico and the southwest US Compared with the NDVI datasets, the derived GVF datasets show more one-to-one relationships, have reduced interannual variation, preserve their relationships better over the entire time period and are characterized by weaker trends. Finally, weak agreement between the trends in the datasets stresses the importance of using multiple datasets to evaluate changes in vegetation and its phenology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1084
Number of pages28
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • NDVI
  • Phenology
  • SPOT
  • Satellite
  • Trends
  • Vegetation fraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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