Research Papers

Using SPOT-VGT NDVI as a successive ecological indicator for understanding the environmental implications in the Tarim River Basin, China

[+] Author Affiliations
Zhandong Sun

Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Science, State Key Laboratory of Lake Science and Environment, Nanjing, 210008 China

Ni-Bin Chang

University of Central Florida, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32816

Christian Opp

University of Marburg, Faculty of Geography, Marburg, D-35032 Germany

J. Appl. Remote Sens. 4(1), 043554 (November 1, 2010). doi:10.1117/1.3518454
History: Received April 8, 2010; Revised October 16, 2010; Accepted October 27, 2010; November 1, 2010; Online November 01, 2010
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Abstract

The resilience and vulnerability of terrestrial ecosystem in the Tarim River Basin, Xinjiang is critical in sustainable development of the northwest region in China. To learn more about causes of the ecosystem evolution in this wide region, vegetation dynamics can be a surrogate indicator of environmental responses and human perturbations. This paper aims to use the inter-annual and intra-annual coefficient of variation (CoV) derived by the SPOT-VGT Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as an integrated measure of vegetation dynamics to address the environmental implications in response to climate change. To finally pin down the vegetation dynamics, the intra-annual CoV based on monthly NDVI values and the inter-annual CoV based on seasonally accumulated NDVI values were respectively calculated. Such vegetation dynamics can then be associated with precipitation patterns extracted from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data and irrigation efforts reflecting the cross-linkages between human society and natural systems. Such a remote sensing analysis enables us to explore the complex vegetation dynamics in terms of distribution and evolution of the collective features of heterogeneity over local soil characteristics, climate change impacts, and anthropogenic activities at differing space and time scales. Findings clearly indicate that the vegetation changes had an obvious trend in some high mountainous areas as a result of climate change whereas the vegetation changes in fluvial plains reflected the increasing evidence of human perturbations due to anthropogenic activities. Some possible environmental implications were finally elaborated from those cross-linkages between economic development and resources depletion in the context of sustainable development.

© 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Zhandong Sun ; Ni-Bin Chang and Christian Opp
"Using SPOT-VGT NDVI as a successive ecological indicator for understanding the environmental implications in the Tarim River Basin, China", J. Appl. Remote Sens. 4(1), 043554 (November 1, 2010). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3518454


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