Remote Sens. 2010, 2(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/rs2010001
Article

Potential of MODIS EVI in Identifying Hurricane Disturbance to Coastal Vegetation in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Coastal Studies Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2009; in revised form: 14 December 2009 / Accepted: 18 December 2009 / Published: 24 December 2009
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Abstract: Frequent hurricane landfalls along the northern Gulf of Mexico, in addition to causing immediate damage to vegetation, also have long term effects on coastal ecosystem structure and function. This study investigated the utility of using time series enhanced vegetation index (EVI) imagery composited in MODIS product MOD13Q1 for assessing hurricane damage to vegetation and its recovery. Vegetation in four US coastal states disturbed by five hurricanes between 2002 and 2008 were explored by change imagery derived from pre- and post-hurricane EVI data. Interpretation of the EVI changes within months and between years distinguished a clear disturbance pattern caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and a recovering trend of the vegetation between 2005 and 2008, particularly within the 100 km coastal zone. However, for Hurricanes Gustav, Ike, and Lili, the disturbance pattern which varied by the change imagery were not noticeable in some images due to lighter vegetation damage. The EVI pre- and post-hurricane differences between two adjacent years and around one month after hurricane disturbance provided the most likely damage area and patterns. The study also revealed that as hurricanes damaged vegetation in some coastal areas, strong precipitation associated with these storms may benefit growth of vegetation in other areas. Overall, the study illustrated that the MODIS product could be employed to detect severe hurricane damage to vegetation, monitor vegetation recovery dynamics, and assess benefits of hurricanes to vegetation.
Keywords: MODIS; enhanced vegetation index; hurricane; forests; wetlands; Northern Gulf of Mexico

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, F.; D’Sa, E.J. Potential of MODIS EVI in Identifying Hurricane Disturbance to Coastal Vegetation in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Remote Sens. 2010, 2, 1-18.

AMA Style

Wang F, D’Sa EJ. Potential of MODIS EVI in Identifying Hurricane Disturbance to Coastal Vegetation in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Remote Sensing. 2010; 2(1):1-18.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wang, Fugui; D’Sa, Eurico J. 2010. "Potential of MODIS EVI in Identifying Hurricane Disturbance to Coastal Vegetation in the Northern Gulf of Mexico." Remote Sens. 2, no. 1: 1-18.

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