Phenological data sets

MODIS Land cover dynamics

  • informally called the MODIS Global Vegetation Phenology product
  • available globally from 2001 – 2012
  • 500 m geometrical resolution
  • based on MOD09 surface reflectance product


Garonna, I.; Jong, Rogier de; Schaepman, Michael E. (2015): Variability and evolution of global land surface phenology over the past three decades (1982-2012). In: Glob Change Biol, 1456–1468, DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13168

  • focusses on growing season length (GSL)
  • available globally from 1982 – 2012
  • based on GIMMS 3g


Rodriguez-Galiano, Victor F.; Dash, Jadunandan; Atkinson, Peter M. (2015): Characterising the Land Surface Phenology of Europe Using Decadal MERIS Data. In: Remote Sensing 7 (7), S. 9390–9409. DOI: 10.3390/rs70709390

  • derived onset of greenness (OG), end of senescence (EOS), and length of season (LS)
  • from (MERIS) Terrestrial Chlorophyll Index (MTCI) data at 1 km spatial resolution
  • for Europe

EO data suitable for Land Surface Phenology

EO data (vegetation indices, biophysical parameters) with a high temporal resolution from sensors such as

  • MODIS onboard Aqua and Terra
  • AVHRR (e.g. GIMMS NDVI3g)
  • MERIS onbord ENVISAT (2002-2012)
  • VIIRS onboard Suomi NPP
  • Landsat TM, ETM+, OLI
  • Sentinel-2

Timelines of major EO satellites with optical, thermal and radar sensors can be found in
Künzer, Claudia; Ottinger, Marco; Wegmann, Martin; Guo, Huadong; Wang, Changlin; Zhang, Jianzhong et al. (2014): Earth observation satellite sensors for biodiversity monitoring. Potentials and bottlenecks. In: International Journal of Remote Sensing 35 (18), S. 6599–6647. DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2014.964349


In-situ data


PEP725 database (20 European meteorological services and 7 partners)

The International Phenological Gardens of Europe (IPG)


database of Deutscher Wetterdienst (in German)