Seasonal Vegetation and Snow Change

  • Released Tuesday, March 19, 2013

To determine the density of green on a patch of land, researchers must observe the wavelengths of visible and near-infrared sunlight reflected by the plants. The pigment in plant leaves, chlorophyll, strongly absorbs visible light (from 0.4 um - 0.7 um). Vegetation strongly reflects near-infrared light (from 0.7 -1.0 um). The more healthy leaves a plant has, the more the the visible light will be absorbed and the near-infrared will be reflected. In this animation, dark green indicates dense, healthy vegetation, whereas beige areas represent bare soil. Snow from the MODIS instruments is overlaid on top.

Colortable showing MODIS 16 day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)

Colortable showing MODIS 16 day composite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI)



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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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This page was originally published on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:52 PM EDT.


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