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Environmental monitoring requires regular observations regarding the status of the landscape- The concept behind most monitoring efforts using satellite data involve deriving normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values or accumulating the NDVI over a specified time period. These efforts attempt to estimate the continuous growth of green biomass by using continuous additions of NDVI as a surrogate measure. To build upon this concept, this study proposes three refinements; 1) use an objective definition of the current growing season to adjust the time window during which the NDVI is accumulated, 2) accumulate only the NDVI values which are affected by green vegetation, and 3) base monitoring units upon land cover type. These refinements improve the sensitivity of detecting interannual vegetation variability, reduce the need for extensive and detailed knowledge of ground conditions and crop calendars, provide a framework in which several types of monitoring can take place over diverse land cover types, and provide an objective time frame during which monitoring takes place.
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An approach for using AVHRR data to monitor U.S. great plains grasslands