Dash, J. and Curran, P.J.
Relationship between herbicide concentration during the 1960s and 1970s and the contemporary MERIS Terrestrial Chlorophyll Index (MTCI) for southern Vietnam
International Journal of Geographical Information Sciences, 20, (8), . (doi:10.1080/13658810600816805).
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Large concentrations of herbicide were sprayed onto the forests of southern
Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. Over 30 years later, many of these
contaminated forests have regained full canopy cover, albeit with reduced
chlorophyll content. The European Space Agency produces an operational
product for the estimation of terrestrial chlorophyll content over large areas of
terrain. This product uses data recorded by the Medium Resolution Imaging
Spectrometer (MERIS) on Envisat and is called the MERIS Terrestrial
Chlorophyll Index (MERIS). The relationship between historical levels of
herbicide contamination and contemporary MTCI was strong (R50.86) and
negative, with high levels of herbicide contamination being associated (via low
levels of chlorophyll concentration) with low levels of MTCI. This is the first
published study to demonstrate a relationship between MTCI and a surrogate for
chlorophyll content. The next stage of this research is to build on the strength of
this relationship and use contemporary MTCI to estimate historical herbicide
levels during the 1960s and 1970s across southern Vietnam.
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