I am trying to calculate Leaf Area Index in GEE by deriving LAI from NDVI (I found the formula in this thread from Research Gate forum https://www.researchgate.net/post/How_to_calculate_LAI_Leaf_Area_Index_from_Satellite_Images) and also I want to integrate it into a ui.DateSlider widget.

var sentinel_dataset = ee.ImageCollection("COPERNICUS/S2_SR")
 .filterDate(Start_period, End_period)

//Create NDVI
var collectionNDVI = sentinel_dataset.map(
    function(img) {
         return img.normalizedDifference(['B8','B4'])
                  .copyProperties(img, ['system:time_start']);
//Create LAI
var collectionLAI = sentinel_dataset.expression(
    '0.57 * exp(2.33 * NDVI)', {
      'NDVI': (collectionNDVI),

When I run this code, the console brings up this error: sentinel_dataset.expression is not a function

This is the link for my code https://code.earthengine.google.com/47d695de6faf894006516a447d095804 I tried multiple ways to write the expression but nothing seems to work. Is there another way to create LAI in this context?

1 Answer 1


There are two problems in your approach. First, you are working with an ImageCollection and if you want to calculate LAI for a collection you need to apply a function using map(function). The second problem, you need to apply the function to a collection that already has an NDVI band, so apply it to collectionNDVI instead of sentinel_dataset.

//Create LAI function
var addLAI = function(image) {
  var lai = ee.Image(0).expression(
    '0.57 * exp(2.33 * NDVI)',
  return image.addBands(lai.rename('lai'));

// Apply to NDVIcollection
var collectionLAI = collectionNDVI.map(addLAI);

// Have a look at the results

Map.addLayer(collectionLAI, {bands:'lai', min:0, max:1,palette:['FFFFFF', 'CE7E45', 'DF923D', 'F1B555', 'FCD163', '99B718',
               '74A901', '66A000', '529400', '3E8601', '207401', '056201',
               '004C00', '023B01', '012E01', '011D01', '011301']}, 'lai');

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