عنوان مقاله [English]
With recent advances in satellite remote sensing productions in past few decades, several indices have been provided for the study of vegetation dynamics, and especially for the assessment of drought impacts. Among these, two vegetation indices -Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) - have gained the attention of various researchers. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the reaction of these two vegetation indices (i.e. NDVI and EVI) to dry and wet years in a dry plain in Iran (i.e. Sistan plain in eastern Iran).
Materials & Methods
To assess the sensitivity of these indices to dry and wet years, two different databases were required. First, NDVI and EVI image base received from Terra satellite (MODIS sensor) for April, May and June 2000-2014, and downloaded from EOS website. Second, daily data base of Zabol synoptic meteorological station (for a statistical period of 30-years 1985-2014) received from Iran Meteorological Organization. After data acquisition, separate vegetation dynamics maps (for April, May and June) were produced for the study area based on the information derived through processing of MODIS sensor images (Terra satellite) using NDVI and EVI. Effective drought index (EDI) was used to determine the frequency of dry and wet years in Sistan plain.
Results & Discussion
Mapping of vegetation dynamics based on images received from MODIS sensor (Terra satellite) for a 15-year statistical period (2000 to 2014: April, May, and June) indicated that NDVI and EVI had significant differences in exhibiting the dynamics of vegetation in the study area. These differences were obvious in areas with average amount of vegetation (0.4-0.5 in both NDVI and EVI) and also in areas with sparse dispersed vegetation (0.3-0.4 in both NDVI and EVI). In average levels of vegetation, total area of vegetation calculated by EVI is much higher than what is calculated by NDVI, while in sparse and dispersed vegetation, total area of vegetation calculated by NDVI is almost higher than EVI. Subsequently by selection of a dry (2010-2011) and a wet year (2005-2006), we compared changes in total area of vegetation (average and sparse) calculated by NDVI and EVI. Regarding the response of these two indices to dry and wet years, it was concluded that NDVI shows a better and more logical response during droughts, while EVI provides better results in wet years. However, it should be noted that the mean annual precipitation of Sistan plain is so low (59 mm per year) and its evapotranspiration is so high (4800 mm per year) that precipitation does not play a significant role in vegetation dynamics of this plain. Therefore, water flow in Helmand River, which is the lifeblood of this desert, is much more important than this limited precipitation in Sistan plain; hence, we can conclude that meteorological drought monitoring indices cannot reflect the relationship between drought and vegetation dynamics in Sistan plain, and this makes it difficult to compare NDVI and EVI in the region.
In general, it can be concluded that NDVI is a more suitable index for dynamics of vegetation in plains such as Sistan, whose life depends not on precipitation but on water running in the river. Because of the computational nature of EVI, it responds better in areas with dense vegetation. According to the vegetation type obtained from MODIS sensor images and field visits, NDVI is a better index for these types of plains.
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