Remotely sensed estimates of crop water demand

Susan L. Ustin, David Darling, Shawn Kefauver, Jonathan Greenberg, Yen Ben Cheng, Michael L. Whiting

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In water limited environments, the density and water content of plant canopies are highly correlated to available soil moisture. Specific absorption bands for liquid water are identifiable and the variation in their depths can be related to canopy water content using high spectral resolution (hyperspectral) imagery. The spectral absorption feature centered at approximately 980 nm has been widely utilized for estimating equivalent water thickness, a measure of the volume of canopy water if it is equally distributed over the area of the pixel. Although it is affected by canopy structure, it is highly correlated with plant water content, and is independent of reflectance changes due to photosynthetic pigments. This study relates the depth of the 980 nm water band absorption, measured by the continuum removal (CR) technique, to crop water stress, and compares these results to other vegetation and plant stress indicators, NDVI and NDWI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
Pages (from-to)230-240
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventRemote Sensing and Modeling of Ecosystems for Sustainability - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2004Aug 4 2004


  • Continuum removal
  • Hyperspectral imagery
  • Irrigation scheduling
  • Precision agriculture
  • Vegetation indexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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