Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 32, pp 33568–33581 | Cite as

Characterization of drought monitoring events through MODIS- and TRMM-based DSI and TVDI over South Asia during 2001–2017

  • Shahzad AliEmail author
  • Deming Tong
  • Zhen Tian Xu
  • Malak Henchiri
  • Kalisa Wilson
  • Shi Siqi
  • Jiahua ZhangEmail author
Research Article


South Asia is susceptible to drought due to high variation in monthly precipitation. The drought indices deriving from remote sensing data have been used to monitor drought events. To secure agricultural land in South Asia, timely and effective drought monitoring is very important. In this study, TRMM data was utilized along with remote sensing techniques for reliable drought monitoring. The Drought Severity Index (DSI), Temperature Vegetation Drought Index (TVDI), NDVI, and Normalized Vegetation Supply Water Index (NVSWI) are more helpful in describing the drought events in South Asia due to the dryness and low vegetation. To categorize drought-affected areas, the spatial maps of TRMM were used to confirm MODIS-derived TVDI, DSI, and NVSWI. The DSI, TVDI, NVSWI, and Normalized Monthly Precipitation Anomaly Percentage (NAP) indices with an integrated use of MODIS-derived ET/PET and NDVI were selected as a tool for monitoring drought in South Asia. The seasonal DSI, TVDI, NVSWI, NAP, and NDVI values confirmed that South Asia suffered an extreme drought in 2001, which continued up to 2003. The correlation was generated among DSI, NAP, NVWSI, NDVI, TVDI, and TCI on a seasonal basis. The significantly positive correlation values of DSI, TVDI, and NVSWI were in DJF, MAM, and SON seasons, which were described as good drought monitoring indices during these seasons. During summer, the distribution values of drought indicated that more droughts occurred in the southwest regions as compared to the northeast region of South Asia. From 2001 to 2017, the change trend of drought was characterized; the difference of drought trend was obviously indicated among different regions. In South Asia, generally, the frequency of drought showed declining trends from 2001 to 2017. It was verified that these drought indices are a comprehensive drought monitoring indicator and would reduce drought risk in South Asia.


Change trend of drought DSI TVDI NVSWI Correlation South Asia 



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

No conflict of interest exists in the submission of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahzad Ali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Deming Tong
    • 1
  • Zhen Tian Xu
    • 1
  • Malak Henchiri
    • 1
  • Kalisa Wilson
    • 1
  • Shi Siqi
    • 2
  • Jiahua Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Computer Science and Technology, Remote Sensing and Climate ChangingQingdao UniversityShandongChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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