skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 23 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, May 24 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: HP-LSP: A reference of land surface phenology from fused Harmonized Landsat and Sentinel-2 with PhenoCam data

Land surface phenology (LSP) products are currently of large uncertainties due to cloud contaminations and other impacts in temporal satellite observations and they have been poorly validated because of the lack of spatially comparable ground measurements. This study provided a reference dataset of gap-free time series and phenological dates by fusing the Harmonized Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 (HLS) observations with near-surface PhenoCam time series for 78 regions of 10 × 10 km2across ecosystems in North America during 2019 and 2020. The HLS-PhenoCam LSP (HP-LSP) reference dataset at 30 m pixels is composed of: (1) 3-day synthetic gap-free EVI2 (two-band Enhanced Vegetation Index) time series that are physically meaningful to monitor the vegetation development across heterogeneous levels, train models (e.g., machine learning) for land surface mapping, and extract phenometrics from various methods; and (2) four key phenological dates (accuracy ≤5 days) that are spatially continuous and scalable, which are applicable to validate various satellite-based phenology products (e.g., global MODIS/VIIRS LSP), develop phenological models, and analyze climate impacts on terrestrial ecosystems.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific Data
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract. Monitoring leaf phenology tracks the progression ofclimate change and seasonal variations in a variety of organismal andecosystem processes. Networks of finite-scale remote sensing, such as thePhenoCam network, provide valuable information on phenological state at hightemporal resolution, but they have limited coverage. Satellite-based data withlower temporal resolution have primarily been used to more broadly measurephenology (e.g., 16 d MODIS normalizeddifference vegetation index (NDVI) product). Recent versions of the GeostationaryOperational Environmental Satellites (GOES-16 and GOES-17) can monitor NDVI attemporal scales comparable to that of PhenoCam throughout most of thewestern hemisphere. Here we begin to examine the current capacity of thesenew data to measure the phenology of deciduous broadleaf forests for thefirst 2 full calendar years of data (2018 and 2019) by fittingdouble-logistic Bayesian models and comparing the transition dates of the start, middle, and end of theseason to those obtained from PhenoCam and MODIS 16 dNDVI and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) products. Compared to these MODIS products, GOES was morecorrelated with PhenoCam at the start and middle of spring but had a largerbias (3.35 ± 0.03 d later than PhenoCam) at the end of spring.Satellite-based autumn transition dates were mostly uncorrelated with thoseof PhenoCam. PhenoCam data produced significantly more certain (allp values ≤0.013) estimates of all transition dates than any of thesatellite sources did. GOES transition date uncertainties were significantlysmaller than those of MODIS EVI for all transition dates (all p values ≤0.026), but they were only smaller (based on p value <0.05) than thosefrom MODIS NDVI for the estimates of the beginning and middle of spring. GOES willimprove the monitoring of phenology at large spatial coverages and providesreal-time indicators of phenological change even when the entire springtransition period occurs within the 16 d resolution of these MODISproducts. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    High-quality retrieval of land surface phenology (LSP) is increasingly important for understanding the effects of climate change on ecosystem function and biosphere–atmosphere interactions. We analyzed four state-of-the-art phenology methods: threshold, logistic-function, moving-average and first derivative based approaches, and retrieved LSP in the North Hemisphere for the period 1999–2017 from Copernicus Global Land Service (CGLS) SPOT-VEGETATION and PROBA-V leaf area index (LAI) 1 km V2.0 time series. We validated the LSP estimates with near-surface PhenoCam and eddy covariance FLUXNET data over 80 sites of deciduous forests. Results showed a strong correlation (R2 > 0.7) between the satellite LSP and ground-based observations from both PhenoCam and FLUXNET for the timing of the start (SoS) and R2 > 0.5 for the end of season (EoS). The threshold-based method performed the best with a root mean square error of ~9 d with PhenoCam and ~7 d with FLUXNET for the timing of SoS (30th percentile of the annual amplitude), and ~12 d and ~10 d, respectively, for the timing of EoS (40th percentile). 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Vegetation phenology is a key control on water, energy, and carbon fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. Because vegetation canopies are heterogeneous, spatially explicit information related to seasonality in vegetation activity provides valuable information for studies that use eddy covariance measurements to study ecosystem function and land-atmosphere interactions. Here we present a land surface phenology (LSP) dataset derived at 3 m spatial resolution from PlanetScope imagery across a range of plant functional types and climates in North America. The dataset provides spatially explicit information related to the timing of phenophase changes such as the start, peak, and end of vegetation activity, along with vegetation index metrics and associated quality assurance flags for the growing seasons of 2017–2021 for 10 × 10 km windows centred over 104 eddy covariance towers at AmeriFlux and National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) sites. These LSP data can be used to analyse processes controlling the seasonality of ecosystem-scale carbon, water, and energy fluxes, to evaluate predictions from land surface models, and to assess satellite-based LSP products.

    more » « less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Phenology is a distinct marker of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. Accordingly, monitoring the spatiotemporal patterns of vegetation phenology is important to understand the changing Earth system. A wide range of sensors have been used to monitor vegetation phenology, including digital cameras with different viewing geometries mounted on various types of platforms. Sensor perspective, view-angle, and resolution can potentially impact estimates of phenology. We compared three different methods of remotely sensing vegetation phenology—an unoccupied aerial vehicle (UAV)-based, downward-facing RGB camera, a below-canopy, upward-facing hemispherical camera with blue (B), green (G), and near-infrared (NIR) bands, and a tower-based RGB PhenoCam, positioned at an oblique angle to the canopy—to estimate spring phenological transition towards canopy closure in a mixed-species temperate forest in central Virginia, USA. Our study had two objectives: (1) to compare the above- and below-canopy inference of canopy greenness (using green chromatic coordinate and normalized difference vegetation index) and canopy structural attributes (leaf area and gap fraction) by matching below-canopy hemispherical photos with high spatial resolution (0.03 m) UAV imagery, to find the appropriate spatial coverage and resolution for comparison; (2) to compare how UAV, ground-based, and tower-based imagery performed in estimating the timing of the spring phenological transition. We found that a spatial buffer of 20 m radius for UAV imagery is most closely comparable to below-canopy imagery in this system. Sensors and platforms agree within +/− 5 days of when canopy greenness stabilizes from the spring phenophase into the growing season. We show that pairing UAV imagery with tower-based observation platforms and plot-based observations for phenological studies (e.g., long-term monitoring, existing research networks, and permanent plots) has the potential to scale plot-based forest structural measures via UAV imagery, constrain uncertainty estimates around phenophases, and more robustly assess site heterogeneity. 
    more » « less
  5. Detecting crop phenology with satellite time series is important to characterize agroecosystem energy-water-carbon fluxes, manage farming practices, and predict crop yields. Despite the advances in satellite-based crop phenological retrievals, interpreting those retrieval characteristics in the context of on-the-ground crop phenological events remains a long-standing hurdle. Over the recent years, the emergence of near-surface phenology cameras (e.g., PhenoCams), along with the satellite imagery of both high spatial and temporal resolutions (e.g., PlanetScope imagery), has largely facilitated direct comparisons of retrieved characteristics to visually observed crop stages for phenological interpretation and validation. The goal of this study is to systematically assess near-surface PhenoCams and high-resolution PlanetScope time series in reconciling sensor- and ground-based crop phenological characterizations. With two critical crop stages (i.e., crop emergence and maturity stages) as an example, we retrieved diverse phenological characteristics from both PhenoCam and PlanetScope imagery for a range of agricultural sites across the United States. The results showed that the curvature-based Greenup and Gu-based Upturn estimates showed good congruence with the visually observed crop emergence stage (RMSE about 1 week, bias about 0–9 days, and R square about 0.65–0.75). The threshold- and derivative-based End of greenness falling Season (i.e., EOS) estimates reconciled well with visual crop maturity observations (RMSE about 5–10 days, bias about 0–8 days, and R square about 0.6–0.75). The concordance among PlanetScope, PhenoCam, and visual phenology demonstrated the potential to interpret the fine-scale sensor-derived phenological characteristics in the context of physiologically well-characterized crop phenological events, which paved the way to develop formal protocols for bridging ground-satellite phenological characterization. 
    more » « less