Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 11470–11481 | Cite as

Analysis of vegetation dynamics, drought in relation with climate over South Asia from 1990 to 2011

  • Shahzad Ali
  • Malak Henchiri
  • Fengmei YaoEmail author
  • Jiahua ZhangEmail author
Research Article


Drought is the most complex climate-related disaster issue in South Asia, because of the various land-cover changes, vegetation dynamics, and climates. The aims of the current research work were to analyze the performance of AVHRR Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and spatiotemporal differences in vegetation dynamics on a seasonal basis by correlating the results with NASA’s MERRA precipitation and air temperature for monitoring vegetation dynamics and drought over South Asia. Our approach is based on the use of AVHRR NDVI data and NASA’s MERRA rainfall and air temperature data (1990–2011). Due to the low vegetation and dryness, the NDVI is more helpful in describing the drought condition in South Asia. There were rapid increases in NDVI, VHI, and VCI from April to October. Monthly NDVI, VHI, and VCI stabilize in September and improved once more in October and then show a declining trend in December. The monthly PCI, TCI, VHI, and VCI values showed that the South Asia goes through an extreme drought in 2000, which continues up to 2002, which lead the highest water stress. Spatial correlation maps among NDVI, precipitation, air temperature, VHI, and VCI on a seasonal basis. The correlation between NDVI and precipitation showed a significantly higher correlation value in JJA and SON seasons; the spatial correlation between NDVI and air temperature showed significant high values in DJF, JJA, and SON periods, while the correlation between VHI and TCI showed a significantly higher values in MAM and SON seasons, which indicated a good sign for dryness monitoring, mainly for farming regions during these seasons in South Asia. It was confirmed that these indexes are a comprehensive drought monitoring indicator and a step to monitoring the climate change in South Asia, which will play a relevant role ongoing studies on vegetation types, monitoring climate change, and drought over South Asia.


Drought Trends in NDVI Vegetation dynamics Spatial correlation South Asia 


Authors’ contributions

The manuscript was reviewed and approved for publication by all authors. FY, JZ, and SA conceived and designed the experiments. SA, MH, performed the experiments. SA analyzed the data. SA wrote the paper. MH reviewed and revised the paper. FY and JZ corrected the English language for the paper.


This work was supported by the Key basic research project of Shandong natural science foundation of China (ZR2017ZB0422), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Project Funding (2018M642614), and “Taishan Scholar” project of Shandong Province.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer Science and Technology, Remote Sensing and Climate ChangeQingdao UniversityQingdaoChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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