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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing

Using SPOT-VGT NDVI as a successive ecological indicator for understanding the environmental implications in the Tarim River Basin, China
Author(s): Zhandong Sun; Ni-Bin Chang; Christian Opp
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 2010
PDF: 20 pages
J. Appl. Rem. Sens. 4(1) 043554 doi: 10.1117/1.3518454
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 4, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Zhandong Sun, Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology (China)
Ni-Bin Chang, Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Christian Opp, Philipps-Univ. Marburg (Germany)

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