The recent California drought presents an opportunity to study CO2 flux changes over time due to insufficient water uptake by plant life using remote sensing data. Three flux towers were used to create linear regressions between AVIRIS derived Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE = PRI * NDVI * PAR) and tower measured CO2 flux in the San Joaquin Experimental Range. To estimate CO2 from NEE, two linear regressions were used based on time of day and season, with R2 values of 0.85 and 0.87 respectively. Per-pixel CO2 flux was estimated for AVIRIS flights flown in June 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as September 2011 and October 2014. There was a significant decrease in post drought photosynthetic CO2 uptake over the 6,700 km2 studied, totaling 2,977 grams per minute less (15.9% decrease) from June 2013 to June 2014. Data from the 2015 HyspIRI flights suggest a continuation of this trend for June 2015. Pre-drought conditions over a 33 km2 area show that the photosynthetic CO2 uptake dropped from 74 mg per minute on September 24, 2011, to 35 mg per minute on October 6, 2014 (a 53% decrease). HyspIRI flight lines also include 434 km2 of the Rim Fire, an area that saw a decrease in CO2 uptake of 413 grams per minute (71.7% decrease from June 2013 to June 2014) from the burn alone. It is estimated that the entire Rim Fire (1,041 km2) has caused a total decrease in photosynthetic CO2 uptake totaling 988 grams less per minute from 2013 to 2014, with some recovery evident in 2015.
Mazzi, J., Grigsby, S., Goulden, M., Ustin, S. (2015): Estimating CO2 Fluxes Pre and Post Drought Using Remote Sensing Data in the Sierra Nevada Range . B51H Scaling from Points to Pixels: Remote Sensing Estimates of Ecosystem Characteristics across Space and Time I Posters, presented at 2015 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 14-18 Dec..