Investigation of the scaling characteristics of LANDSAT temperature and vegetation data: a wavelet-based approach

Int J Biometeorol. 2017 Oct;61(10):1709-1721. doi: 10.1007/s00484-017-1353-x. Epub 2017 May 16.


An investigation of the scaling characteristics of vegetation and temperature data derived from LANDSAT data was undertaken for a heterogeneous area in Tamil Nadu, India. A wavelet-based multiresolution technique decomposed the data into large-scale mean vegetation and temperature fields and fluctuations in horizontal, diagonal, and vertical directions at hierarchical spatial resolutions. In this approach, the wavelet coefficients were used to investigate whether the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST) fields exhibited self-similar scaling behaviour. In this study, l-moments were used instead of conventional simple moments to understand scaling behaviour. Using the first six moments of the wavelet coefficients through five levels of dyadic decomposition, the NDVI data were shown to be statistically self-similar, with a slope of approximately -0.45 in each of the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal directions of the image, over scales ranging from 30 to 960 m. The temperature data were also shown to exhibit self-similarity with slopes ranging from -0.25 in the diagonal direction to -0.20 in the vertical direction over the same scales. These findings can help develop appropriate up- and down-scaling schemes of remotely sensed NDVI and LST data for various hydrologic and environmental modelling applications. A sensitivity analysis was also undertaken to understand the effect of mother wavelets on the scaling characteristics of LST and NDVI images.

Keywords: LANDSAT; NDVI; Scaling; Temperature; Vegetation; Wavelet multiresolution.

MeSH terms

  • India
  • Plants
  • Satellite Imagery*
  • Temperature