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Journal of Applied Remote Sensing • Open Access

Spatio-temporal features of vegetation restoration and variation after the Wenchuan earthquake with satellite images
Author(s): Peng Hou; Qiao Wang; Yipeng Yang; Weiguo Jiang; Bingfeng Yang; Qiang Chen; Lihua Yuan; Fanming Kong; Xi Chen; Guangjie Wang

Paper Abstract

The Wenchuan earthquake was a deadly earthquake that occurred on May 12, 2008, in Sichuan province of China. With the help of classic statistic methods, including arithmetic mean, standard deviation and linear trend estimation, vegetation restoration was recognized by analyzing spatio-temporal features of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) before and after this earthquake. Results indicate: (1) spatial distribution of NDVI mean values remains similar from 1998 to 2011. Higher values are mainly found in north, whereas lower values are mainly distributed over southeast, which is in good correlation with elevation and landform. Vegetation damage is at different levels in different seismic intensity (SI) regions: the higher SI is, the worse vegetation damage is. (2) Over the whole region, standard deviation is bigger after earthquake than before. Both absolute and relative changes in ecosystem stability increase with increasing SI. In different counties, variation of ecosystem stability is more obvious after earthquake, increase of standard deviation is approximately 6.5 times. Relatively, vegetation regionalization is the smallest analysis unit. Consequently, changes resulting from earthquake are unobvious. (3) Linear trend estimation coefficient increases from 0.0079 before the earthquake to 0.0359 after the earthquake in this whole region. This indicates that the plant ecosystem is rapidly restored between 2009 and 2011. The biggest linear trend is for the hill region, indicating good plant restoration and increase after earthquake. Fluctuation of linear trend estimation coefficient in different counties is more obvious after earthquake. Vegetation restoration after earthquake is most obvious in the regions that suffered the greatest SI (SI10 and SI11). In contrast, fluctuation in linear trend estimation coefficient of annual NDVI mean value for different classes of vegetation is more obvious before earthquake.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2014
PDF: 12 pages
J. Appl. Remote Sens. 8(1) 083651 doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.8.083651
Published in: Journal of Applied Remote Sensing Volume 8, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Peng Hou, Ministry of Environmental Protection (China)
Qiao Wang, Ministry of Environmental Protection (China)
Yipeng Yang, Ministry of Environmental Protection (China)
Weiguo Jiang, Beijing Normal Univ. (China)
Bingfeng Yang, Tsinghua Univ. (China)
Qiang Chen, Beijing Normal Univ. (China)
Lihua Yuan, Beijing Normal Univ. (China)
Fanming Kong, Ministry of Environmental Protection (China)
Xi Chen, Ministry of Environmental Protection (China)
Guangjie Wang, China Univ. of Mining and Technology (China)


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