2014 – Multitemporal LAI maps

ERMES LAI (Leaf Area Index) products will provide near real time information related to the status of rice fields, derived from multitemporal satellite images. Leaf area index (LAI) is a dimensionless quantity that characterizes plant canopies. It is defined as the one-sided green leaf area per unit ground surface area (LAI = leaf area / ground area, m2 / m2) in broadleaf canopies.

ERMES LAI regional maps rely on high quality operational satellite products. VGT/PROBA-V COPERNICUS Global Land as main sensor and MODIS (MOD15A2) as backup have been selected. Satellite maps have been resampled to 2Km spatial resolution. Examples of LAI maps and LAI time series obtained for the Spanish study area are shown below.


Estimated LAI on the Spanish regional area of South Valencia, August 28th, 2014

time esp

Temporal profile of a rice pixel, covering a period of 11 years (January 2003 – December 2013).

ERMES LAI local maps rely on the analysis of multitemporal high resolution satellite images (e.g., Landsat ,Sentinel 2) Examples of LAI maps retrieved for the Italian local study area are shown in the animated figure below (click on the image to see the animation).


LAI map derived from Landsat data during the 2014 rice vegetative cycle on the Italian local site of Lomellina. Non arable land areas were masked out.

Besided allowing to analyze the spatial variability of rice crop status, LAI maps will  provide valuable input information for the WARM model, used in the ERMES project able to simulate rice growth in the different areas.

LAI Maps will be created for all ERMES Regional and Locel Study Areas both for 2015 and 2016, and made available to ERMES users through the ERMES Geoportal and Online catalog.