Submitted to: Thermal Remote Sensing in Land Surface Processes
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Cropland, rangeland, and forest managers are tasked with monitoring and managing limited resources to maximize net profit and minimize negative impacts. They attempt to make intelligent decisions based on available information about biosystem health. One source of such information is imagery obtained from cameras aboard commercial aircraft and orbiting satellites. Images of plant and soil temperature have been linked to the water status of the plants, and consequently, to the health of the biosystem. This chapter presents a history of the use of temperature information for monitoring plant health, and provides a review of temperature-based indices that could be used for resource management. Eight indices were identified with potential for assisting in the day-to- day decisions made in crop, range, and forest management. The results of this review should encourage managers, scientists, and funding agencies to consider plant and soil temperature as an operational means of managing both healthy and threatened plant resources.
With the recent and upcoming launches of satellite-based thermal sensors for earth observation, there is a greater opportunity to use thermal infrared (TIR) information for monitoring and managing biophysical system health. This chapter presents a short history of developments in TIR physics and technology, and a review of several TIR indices that could be useful for biosystem evaluation. Sufficient detail is provided to allow readers to compare and evaluate the indices with minimal reference to other publications. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the pitfalls associated with TIR measurements and algorithm implementation.