An improvement of the Ts-NDVI space drought monitoring method and its applications in the Mongolian plateau with MODIS, 2000–2012

Abstract

Surface soil moisture is a key variable to describe water and energy exchanges at the surface/atm interface and measure drought and aridification. The Ts-NDVI space is an effective method to monitor regional surface soil moisture status. Due to the disturbance of multiple factors, the established dry or wet boundary with monotemporal remote sensing data is unstable. This paper developed a Ts-NDVI triangle space with MODIS NDVI dataset to monitor soil moisture in the Mongolian Plateau in 2000–2012. Based on the temperature vegetation dryness index (TVDI), the spatiotemporal variations of drought were studied. The results indicated that (1) the general Ts-NDVI space method is an effective way to monitor regional soil moisture. However, if the single time space shows perfect structure, there would be no differences between the inverted results of the single time space and the general space. (2) The TVDI calculated in the paper is expected to show the water deficit for the region from low (bare soil) to high (full vegetation cover) NDVI values, and it is found to be in close negative agreement with precipitation and soil moisture; changes in the TVDI are dependent on the water status in the study area. (3) In the Mongolian Plateau, TVDI presented a zonal distribution with changes in Land Use/Land Cover types, vegetation cover, and latitude. Drought was serious in bare land, construction land, and grassland. Drought was widely spread throughout the Mongolian Plateau, and there was aridification in the study period. Vegetation degradation, overgrazing, and climate warming could be considered as the main reasons.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful for the support by the National Key Basic Research and Development Program (973 Program) (Grant No.2013CB429905-04), the Key Deployment Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No.KZZD-EW-08), the youth fund from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.41501477), and the special scientific research fund of forestry public welfare profession of China (Grant No. 201404304).

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Correspondence to Juanle Wang.

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Cao, X., Feng, Y. & Wang, J. An improvement of the Ts-NDVI space drought monitoring method and its applications in the Mongolian plateau with MODIS, 2000–2012. Arab J Geosci 9, 433 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-016-2451-5

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Keywords

  • The general Ts-NDVI space
  • Aridification
  • The Mongolian Plateau
  • Remote sensing