Fractional cover

South Africa: rainbow ground cover. A Landsat satellite pixel covers a 30 x 30m area on the ground. The reflectance from this square encompasses a range of substances – e.g. bare ground, water, green grass, concrete etc. Spectral unmixing allows one to decompose a measured spectrum of light into sub-specta which represent different ground surfaces. Here I have differentiated the fractional contribution of bare ground (red), green vegetation (green) and brown vegetation (blue) to individual Landsat pixels over South Africa. The resulting image gives an intuitive indication of ground cover.

For other examples check out this Instagram page.

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