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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » SWRC » Research » Research Project #441699

Research Project: New Remote Sensing Techniques for Ecosystem Water and Carbon Flux Estimation

Location: Southwest Watershed Research Center

Project Number: 2022-13610-013-017-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2022
End Date: May 31, 2024

1. Combine surface temperature data from drones, tower, and satellite mounted cameras, eddy covariance fluxes, and sap flow data to better understand ecosystem plant physiology and hydrology. 2. Explore seasonal patterns in drought stress across the Southwestern US using novel remote sensing indicators.

Approach for Objective #1: Collect thermal imagery at eddy flux sites in southern Arizona using thermal cameras installed on drones and flux towers. Collect RGB imagery using PiCams, eddy fluxes and sap flow measurements (where available). Install temperature sensors and help maintain sap flow network. Develop relationships between canopy to air temperature differences and water/carbon fluxes. Relate proximate thermal data to that obtained by satellites like the Ecostress mission. Approach for Objective #2: Utilize site-level data gross primary productivity (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET) data from a network of eddy covariance flux tower sites across gradients in temperature (2 – 25 °C) and precipitation (100 – 1000 mm) for southwestern North America. Integrate satellite observations include land surface temperature (LST), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), enhance vegetation index (EVI), photosynthetic reflectivity index (PRI), and solar-induced fluorescence (SIF). Evaluate the sensitivity of the relationship between satellite indices and eddy covariance estimates during period of extreme drought and deluge.