Relative Greenness Index for assessing curing of grassland fuel

G.J. Newnham, J. Verbesselt, I.F. Grant, S.A.J. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Knowledge of the proportion of live and dead herbaceous fuel in grasslands is important in determining fire danger. This paper examines the Relative Greenness approach for quantifying these live and dead proportions. Relative Greenness places the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in the context of a time series of measurements. The parameters used to describe the temporal distribution of NDVI and the time interval over which this distribution is assessed impact Relative Greenness and the inferred characteristics of the vegetation. In this paper, the Relative Greenness approach was investigated using different NDVI distribution parameters derived from eight-day composites of surface reflectance from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). We assessed the accuracy of Relative Greenness for predicting the degree of curing (equivalent to the dead proportion of herbaceous fuel) measured at 25 grassland sites in Australia from 2005 to 2009. Results showed that Relative Greenness explained a greater proportion of the variance and provided a more accurate estimate of the degree of curing than linear regression against NDVI Relative Greenness was further improved using alternative parameters of the NDVI distribution and by selecting an appropriate time interval over which this distribution was assessed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1463
JournalRemote Sensing of Environment
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • ndvi time-series
  • vegetation index
  • avhrr data
  • modis data
  • bidirectional reflectance
  • fire
  • moisture
  • models
  • derivation
  • australia


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