Which among the following months can be most suitable to procure satellite data of forest cover of India?

Answer: [C] October - December

The reflectance from the forests is dependent on the crown foliage and its chlorophyll content. Due to seasonal variability of the tree phenology over the year, season of satellite data acquisition is of utmost importance for forest cover assessment.

Deciduous forests allow more reflectance from the ground surface during leafless period thus making their own detection and classification difficult. Hence, data of the spring-summer season is not suitable for interpretation of such forest types. During rainy season, the situation is compounded due to non availability of cloud-free data and mixing of agricultural and other green covers with forest cover due to similarity in their spectral reflectance. Taking these limitations into consideration, satellite data of the period October to December is considered to be the most suitable for forest cover mapping of the entire country. However, in cases where cloud free data is not available for this period, data of January to March is procured.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module