TOPOGRAPHIC EFFECT ON SPECTRAL VEGETATION INDICES FROM LANDSAT TM DATA: IS TOPOGRAPHIC CORRECTION NECESSARY?

Eder Paulo Moreira

Abstract


The full potentiality of spectral vegetation indices (VIs) can only be evaluated after removing topographic, atmospheric and soil background effects from radiometric data. Concerning the former effect, the topographic effect was barely investigated in the context of VIs, despite the current availability correction methods and Digital elevation Model (DEM). In this study, we performed topographic correction on Landsat 5 TM spectral bands and evaluated the topographic effect on four VIs: NDVI, RVI, EVI and SAVI. The evaluation was based on analyses of mean and standard deviation of VIs and TM band 4 (near-infrared), and on linear regression analyses between these variables and the cosine of the solar incidence angle on terrain surface (cos i). The results indicated that VIs are less sensitive to topographic effect than the uncorrected spectral band. Among VIs, NDVI and RVI were less sensitive to topographic effect than EVI and SAVI. All VIs showed to be fully independent of topographic effect only after correction. It can be concluded that the topographic correction is required for a consistent reduction of the topographic effect on the VIs from rugged terrain.

Keywords


radiometric effect; land cover; Digital Elevation Model; NDVI; SRTM



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