Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 373–381

Deriving Crop Phenology Metrics and Their Trends Using Times Series NOAA-AVHRR NDVI Data


    • Division of Agricultural PhysicsIndian Agricultural Research Institute
  • Surabhi Jain
    • Division of Environmental SciencesIndian Agricultural Research Institute
  • Pramod Kumar Aggarwal
    • Division of Environmental SciencesIndian Agricultural Research Institute
  • Somnath Jha
    • Centre for Atmospheric SciencesIndian Institute of Technology
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12524-011-0125-z

Cite this article as:
Sehgal, V.K., Jain, S., Aggarwal, P.K. et al. J Indian Soc Remote Sens (2011) 39: 373. doi:10.1007/s12524-011-0125-z


In this study, an attempt has been made to derive the spatial patterns of temporal trends in phenology metrics and productivity of crops grown, at disaggregated level in Indo-Gangetic Plains of India (IGP), which are helpful in understanding the impact of climatic, ecological and socio-economic drivers. The NOAA-AVHRR NDVI PAL dataset from 1981 to 2001 was stacked as per the crop year and subjected to Savitzky-Golay filtering. For crop pixels, maximum and minimum values of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), their time of occurrence and total duration of kharif (June-October) and rabi (November–April) crop seasons were derived for each crop year and later subjected to pixel-wise regression with time to derive the rate and direction of change. The maximum NDVI value showed increasing trends across IGP during both kharif and rabi seasons indicating a general increase in productivity of crops. The trends in time of occurrence of peak NDVI during kharif dominated with rice showed that the maximum vegetative growth stage was happening early with time during study period across most of Punjab, North Haryana, Parts of Central and East Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Bihar and West Bengal. Only central parts of Haryana showed a delay in occurrence of maximum vegetative stage with time. During rabi, no significant trends in occurrence of peak NDVI were observed in most of Punjab and Haryana except in South Punjab and North Haryana where early occurrence of peak NDVI with time was observed. Most parts of Central and Eastern Uttar Pradesh, North Bihar and West Bengal showed a delay in occurrence of peak NDVI with time. In general, the rice dominating system was showing an increase in duration with time in Punjab, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Central Uttar Pradesh and South Bihar whereas in some parts of North Bihar and West Bengal a decrease in the duration with time was also observed. During rabi season, except Punjab, the wheat dominating system was showing a decreasing trend in crop duration with time.


Phenology Crop profile NDVI Trend Time series Indo-gangetic plains

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© Indian Society of Remote Sensing 2011