Skip to main content

Investigating spatiotemporal relationship between EVI of the MODIS and climate variables in northern Iran


Climate variability and fluctuations dramatically affect terrestrial ecosystems and their variations. Several studies have been conducted on the relationship between them in terms of use of vegetation indices. In this study, GIS-based spatiotemporal analyses were used to model the relationship between vegetation variations based on the EVI-MODIS and its response to land surface temperature (LST) and rainfall in Mazandaran province during the period of 2000–2016 in the north of Iran. The LST parameter was derived from the 17-year MODIS data, and rainfall parameter was achieved via meteorological station data in the region. Correlation and linear regression analyses at 0.95% confidence level (P value = 0.5) were used to study the relationship between spatiotemporal enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and two climatic parameters. The results indicated that the EVI had a rising trend over the study period. This was mostly due to the increase in paddy fields. The result also shows significant spatial correlation between EVI with LST values, which was direct during winter and inverse during summer. The tabulate area analysis showed that throughout the winter months, the spatial distribution of pixels matched the highest EVI values in pixels with a maximum temperature (20–27 °C), while during June to September, the maximum EVI values were related to areas where the LST was less than 25 °C. Although we found no significant simultaneous relationship between EVI/MODIS and rainfall in studied area, but by 1.5–2.5 months lag time in spring season, the relation between them reaches peak.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9


  • Alijani B (2013) Weather in Iran (geography). Payame Noor University Press, Tehran, p 236 (in Persian)

    Google Scholar 

  • Amiri-Bourkhani M, Khaledian R, Mashrafzadeh A, Shahnazari A (2017) The temporal and spatial variations in groundwater salinity in Mazandaran Plain, Iran, during a long-term period of 26 years. Geofizika 34(1):119–139

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bao G, Qin Z, Bao Y, Zhou Y, Li W, Sanjjav A (2014) NDVI-based long-term vegetation dynamics and its response to climatic change in the Mongolian Plateau. Remote Sens 6(9):8337–8358

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chang CT, Wang SF, Vadeboncoeur MA, Lin TC (2014) Relating vegetation dynamics to temperature and precipitation at monthly and annual timescales in Taiwan using MODIS vegetation indices. Int J Remote Sens 35(2):598–620

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chen Z, Jiang WG, Tang ZH, Jia K (2016) Spatial–temporal pattern of vegetation index change and the relationship to land surface temperature in zoige. Int Arch Photogramm Remote Sens Spat Inf Sci 41:849–852

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chuai XW, Huang XJ, Wang WJ, Bao G (2013) NDVI, temperature and precipitation changes and their relationships with different vegetation types during 1998–2007 in Inner Mongolia, China. Int J Climatol 33(7):1696–1706

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ding M, Zhang Y, Liu L, Zhang W, Wang Z, Bai W (2007) The relationship between NDVI and precipitation on the Tibetan Plateau. J Geogr Sci 17(3):259–268

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Emadi M, Shahriari AR, Sadegh-Zadeh F, Jalili Seh-Bardan B, Dindarlou A (2016) Geostatistics-based spatial distribution of soil moisture and temperature regime classes in Mazandaran province, northern Iran. Arch Agron Soil Sci 62(4):502–522

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Guo L, Wu S, Zhao D, Yin Y, Leng G, Zhang Q (2014a) NDVI-based vegetation change in Inner Mongolia from 1982 to 2006 and its relationship to climate at the biome scale. Adv Meteorol.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Guo W, Ni X, Jing D, Li S (2014b) Spatial–temporal patterns of vegetation dynamics and their relationships to climate variations in Qinghai Lake Basin using MODIS time-series data. J Geogr Sci 24(6):1009–1021

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Halimi M, Sedighifar Z, Mohammadi C (2018) Analyzing spatiotemporal land use/cover dynamic using remote sensing imagery and GIS techniques case: Kan basin of Iran. GeoJournal 83(5):1067–1077

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • He D, Yi G, Zhang T, Miao J, Li J, Bie X (2018) Temporal and spatial characteristics of EVI and its response to climatic factors in recent 16 years based on grey relational analysis in inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Remote Sens 10(6):961

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Huete A, Didan K, Miura T, Rodriguez EP, Gao X, Ferreira LG (2002) Overview of the radiometric and biophysical performance of the MODIS vegetation indices. Remote Sens Environ 83(1–2):195–213

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hussein SO, Kovács F, Tobak Z (2017) Spatiotemporal assessment of vegetation indices and land cover for Erbil city and its surrounding using MODIS imageries. J Environ Geogr 10(1–2):31–39

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kaufmann RK, Zhou L, Myneni RB, Tucker CJ, Slayback D, Shabanov NV, Pinzon J (2003) The effect of vegetation on surface temperature: a statistical analysis of NDVI and climate data. Geophys Res Lett 30(22):4p

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leilei L, Jianrong F, Yang C (2014) The relationship analysis of vegetation cover, rainfall and land surface temperature based on remote sensing in Tibet, China. In: IOP conference series: earth and environmental science, vol 17, no 1. IOP Publishing, p 012034

  • Li Z, Li X, Wei D, Xu X, Wang H (2010) An assessment of correlation on MODIS-NDVI and EVI with natural vegetation coverage in Northern Hebei Province, China. Proc Environ Sci 2:964–969

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lu L, Kuenzer C, Wang C, Guo H, Li Q (2015) Evaluation of three MODIS-derived vegetation index time series for dryland vegetation dynamics monitoring. Remote Sens 7(6):7597–7614

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Luan J, Liu D, Zhang L, Huang Q, Feng J, Lin M, Li G (2018) Analysis of the spatial–temporal change of the vegetation index in the upper reach of Han River Basin in 2000–2016. Proc Int Assoc Hydrol Sci 379:287–292

    Google Scholar 

  • Marvi-Mohajer MR (2005) Silviculture. University of Tehran Press, Tehran, p 387

    Google Scholar 

  • Motlagh MG, Kafaky SB, Mataji A, Akhavan R (2018) Estimating and mapping forest biomass using regression models and Spot-6 images (case study: Hyrcanian forests of north of Iran). Environ Monit Assess 190(6):352

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Phompila C, Lewis M, Ostendorf B, Clarke K (2015) MODIS EVI and LST temporal response for discrimination of tropical land covers. Remote Sens 7(5):6026–6040

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Raynolds MK, Comiso JC, Walker DA, Verbyla D (2008) Relationship between satellite-derived land surface temperatures, arctic vegetation types, and NDVI. Remote Sens Environ 112(4):1884–1894

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Richard Y, Poccard I (1998) A statistical study of NDVI sensitivity to seasonal and interannual rainfall variations in Southern Africa. Int J Remote Sens 19(15):2907–2920

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Testa S, Soudani K, Boschetti L, Mondino EB (2018) MODIS-derived EVI, NDVI and WDRVI time series to estimate phenological metrics in French deciduous forests. Int J Appl Earth Obs Geoinf 64:132–144

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wang J, Rich PM, Price KP (2003) Temporal responses of NDVI to precipitation and temperature in the central Great Plains, USA. Int J Remote Sens 24(11):2345–2364

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xin Z, Xu J, Zheng W (2008) Spatiotemporal variations of vegetation cover on the Chinese Loess Plateau (1981–2006): impacts of climate changes and human activities. Sci China Ser D Earth Sci 51(1):67–78

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Xu G, Zhang H, Chen B, Zhang H, Innes JL, Wang G, Yan J, Zheng Y, Zhu Z, Myneni RB (2014) Changes in vegetation growth dynamics and relations with climate over China’s landmass from 1982 to 2011. Remote Sens 6(4):3263–3283

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhong L, Ma Y, Salama MS, Su Z (2010) Assessment of vegetation dynamics and their response to variations in precipitation and temperature in the Tibetan Plateau. Clim Change 103(3–4):519–535

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zoungrana BJB, Conrad C, Amekudzi LK, Thiel M, Da ED (2014) Land use/cover response to rainfall variability: a comparing analysis between NDVI and EVI in the Southwest of Burkina Faso. Climate 3(1):63–77

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors thank all those who helped in this research.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Z. Sedighifar.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Editorial responsibility: M. Abbaspour.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Sedighifar, Z., Motlagh, M.G. & Halimi, M. Investigating spatiotemporal relationship between EVI of the MODIS and climate variables in northern Iran. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. 17, 733–744 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • EVI
  • LST
  • Rainfall
  • Tabulate area analysis
  • Mazandaran