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Calculating Crop

Water Stress Index

using remote sensing
Christopher Kruse
1. Background, Motivation
2. Calculating CWSI
3. Results – Temperature Data
4. Problems – Temperature Data
Two assumptions of the CWSI:
1. As a crop transpires, the evaporation of
water cools the leaves below the air
2. As a crop becomes water stressed, the
transpiration will decrease and the
temperature will then increase (Jackson 1982).

Using remote sensing to see the crop surface

Crop Water Stress Index

dT is the difference between the canopy temperature
and the air temperature (Tc - Ta),
dTu is the upper limit of Tc - Ta (non-transpiring), and
dT1 is the lower limit of Tc - Ta (well-watered).

0 ≤ CWSI ≤ 1
- For dT, field
temperature data
(thanks to Cassie)
used for Tc comes
from the MASTER
thermal data.
- The air
measured from the
CIMIS station in
Belridge are used
for Ta .
Params cont.
- The green line shows
where the Tc - Ta would
indicate maximum
stress for soybeans.

- The blue line shows

the Tc - Ta value that
would indicate low
stress for a given Vapor
Pressure Deficit (VPD).

U.S. Water Conservation

Params cont.
- According to the U.S. Water Conservation Lab, the
upper limit of Tc – Ta can be calculated by:

rs is aerodynamic resistance (s m-1 ),
Rn the net radiation (W m-2),
G is the soil heat flux (W m-2 ),
Y is the density of air (kg m-3 ),
and Cp is the heat capacity of air (~1013 J kg-1 °C-1 ).
Params cont.
The lower limit of this difference can be
calculated by

K is the psychrometric “constant” (kPa °C-1 ),
“-” is the slope of the saturated vapor pressure-temperature relation
(kPa °C-1 ),
VPD is the vapor pressure deficit (kPa).
Equations for K, “-”, and VPD are not shown.
- The main input I was interested in was
the temperatures from MASTER.

- The temperatures after the first

calibration were high and unrealistic.

- The temperatures after the second

calibration were lower and realistic.
- The image to the left shows the
difference between the atmospherically
corrected and the first field calibrated
canopy temperature from MASTER and air
temperature from the CIMIS station (31.7

- The test field is the lower field.

- Most of the values positive. The average

Tc – Ta for the test field was 5.019598 °C.

Average temp in the test field of 5.02 °C is

a problem!
- The image to the left shows the location
of the thermal gun measurements and the
regions used for the canopy temperature

- Thermal data from three trees were

available. The temperature values from
the surrounding nine pixels were

- The difference of MASTER and thermal

gun temperatures were then calculated
and averaged.

- The average difference (7.86667 °C) was

More Results
- Both plots show Tc – Ta.

- The one on the left is before

the canopy calibration and the
one on the right is after.
More Results
- Both of these images show
the CWSI

- The image on the left shows

the CWSI before the canopy
calibration and the image on
the right shows after the
More Results
- This image was created using the second
field calibration.

- Most of the values negative. The

average Tc – Ta for the test field was
-3.517924 °C.
Final Results
- This image shows the CWSI based on the
previous temperatures.

Min – 0.000000
Max – 0.708980
Mean – 0.213831
Stdev – 0.071707

An average value
of 0.214 would
indicate low stress.
Final Results

0.599423 0.239932
The CWSI values calculated with the averaged
difference temperature calibration and the final
temperature calibration were very comparable.

Temperature data that is much higher than expected

could possibly be calibrated to the canopy
temperature if actual measurements of the canopy
temperatures are available.

The final calibration of the temperature resulted in

canopy temperatures lower than the air

Both the averaged difference calibration and the

final calibration temperatures resulted in CWSI
I would like to thank Shawn and Susan for all of their
help with this project.

I would also like to thank the other members of our

group for their help.

I would also like to thank everyone who made the

Student Airborne Research Program work.