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Spectral entropy as a mean to quantify water stress history for natural vegetation and irrigated agriculture in a water-stressed tropical environment
  • Yeonuk Kim,
  • Mark Johnson
Yeonuk Kim
University of British Columbia Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability

Corresponding Author:yeonuk.kim.may@gmail.com

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Mark Johnson
University of British Columbia Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability

Corresponding Author:mark.johnson@ubc.ca

Author Profile


Spectral entropy (Hs) is an index which can be used to measure the structural complexity of time series data. When a time series is made up of one periodic function, the Hs value becomes smaller, while Hs becomes larger when a time series is composed of several periodic functions. We hypothesized that this characteristic of the Hs could be used to quantify the water stress history of vegetation. For the ideal condition for which sufficient water is supplied to an agricultural crop or natural vegetation, there should be a single distinct phenological cycle represented in a vegetation index time series (e.g., NDVI and EVI). However, time series data for a vegetation area that repeatedly experiences water stress may include several fluctuations that can be observed in addition to the predominant phenological cycle. This is because the process of experiencing water stress and recovering from it generates small fluctuations in phenological characteristics. Consequently, the value of Hs increases when vegetation experiences several water shortages. Therefore, the Hs could be used as an indicator for water stress history. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data for a natural area in comparison to a nearby sugarcane area in seasonally-dry western Costa Rica. In this presentation, we will illustrate the use of spectral entropy to evaluate the vegetative responses of natural vegetation (dry tropical forest) and sugarcane under three different irrigation techniques (center pivot irrigation, drip irrigation and flood irrigation). Through this comparative analysis, the utility of Hs as an indicator will be tested. Furthermore, crop response to the different irrigation methods will be discussed in terms of Hs, NDVI and yield.