The Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) is a key Earth science parameter used to assess vegetation, originally developed and calibrated for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites. With the impending decommissioning of the MODIS sensors by the year 2020/2022, alternative platforms will need to be used to estimate EVI. We compared Landsat 5 (2000–2011), 8 (2013–2016) and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS; 2013–2016) to MODIS EVI (2000–2016) over a 420,083-ha area of the arid lower Colorado River Delta in Mexico. Over large areas with mixed land cover or agricultural fields, we found high correspondence between Landsat and MODIS EVI (R2 = 0.93 for the entire area studied and 0.97 for agricultural fields), but the relationship was weak over bare soil (R2 = 0.27) and riparian vegetation (R2 = 0.48). The correlation between MODIS and Landsat EVI was higher over large, homogeneous areas and was generally lower in narrow riparian areas. VIIRS and MODIS EVI were highly similar (R2 = 0.99 for the entire area studied) and did not show the same decrease in performance in smaller, narrower regions as Landsat. Landsat and VIIRS provide EVI estimates of similar quality and characteristics to MODIS, but scale, seasonality and land cover type(s) should be considered before implementing Landsat EVI in a particular area.
- Colorado River Delta
- Remote sensing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering