Frequently Asked Question

What is CIR?

CIR Composite (Color Infrared) 

Uses

  • assessing plant health 
  • identifying water bodies 
  • variability in soil moisture
  • assessing soil composition

Description

This layer is a color composite and not an Index. It is referred to as a Color Infrared Composite because instead of combining Red, Green, and Blue bands (which is the standard image display method you are accustomed to) we are combining NIR, Red, and Green bands. NIR light is displayed as red, red light is displayed as green, and green light is displayed as blue (R: NIR, G: RED, B: GREEN). This color composite highlights the response of the Near-infrared band to crop health and water bodies.

Healthy vegetation reflects a high level of NIR and appears red in CIR layers. Unhealthy vegetation will reflect less in the NIR and appear as washed out pink tones, very sick or dormant vegetation is often green or tan, and man-made structures are light blue-green. Soils may also appear light blue, green, or tan depending on how sandy it is, with sandiest soil appearing light tan and clay soils as dark tan or bluish green. This is also highly useful in identifying water bodies in the imagery, which absorb NIR wavelengths and appear black when water is clear. Since this is not an index, as stated above, there is no color palette to select. The colors you see are a result of additive mixture of NIR, Red, and Green wavelengths at each image pixel.

 

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