ASSESSING CROP MONITORING POTENTIAL OF SENTINEL-2 IN A SPATIO-TEMPORAL SCALE
Spatio-temporal variability of crop growth descriptors is of prime importance for crop risk assessment and yield gap analysis. The incorporation of three bands (viz., B5, B6, B7) in ‘red-edge’ position (i.e., 705 nm, 740 nm, 783 nm) in Sentinel-2 with 10–20 m spatial resolution images with five days revisit period have unfolded opportunity for meticulous crop monitoring. In the present study, the potential of Sentinel-2 have been appraised for monitoring phenological stages of potato over Bardhaman district in the state of West Bengal, India. Due to the competency of Vegetation indices (VI) to evaluate the status of crop growth; we have used the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), the Green Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (GNDVI), and the Normalized Difference Index45 (NDI45) for crop monitoring. Time series analysis of the VIs exhibited increasing trend as the crop started approaching maturity and attained a maximum value during the tuber development stage and started decreasing as the crop advances to senescence. Inter-field variability of VIs highlighted the need of crop monitoring at high spatial resolution. Among the three vegetation indices, the GNDVI ( r = 0.636), NDVI ( r = 0.620) had the highest correlation with biomass and Plant Area Index (PAI), respectively. NDI45 had comparatively a lower correlation ( r = 0.572 and 0.585 for PAI and biomass, respectively) with both parameters as compared to other two indices. It is interesting to note that the use of Sentinel-2 Green band (B3) instead of the Red band (B4) in GNDVI resulted in 2.5% increase of correlation with biomass. However, the improvement in correlations between NDI45 with crop biophysical parameters is not apparent in this particular study with the inclusion of the Vegetation Red Edge band (B5) in VI. Nevertheless, the strong correlation of VIs with biomass and PAI asserted proficiency of Sentinel-2 for crop monitoring and potential for crop biophysical parameter retrieval with optimum accuracy.