Next Article in Journal
A Smart Recommender Based on Hybrid Learning Methods for Personal Well-Being Services
Next Article in Special Issue
An Artificial Intelligence Application for Post-Earthquake Damage Mapping in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Previous Article in Journal
A Transductive Model-based Stress Recognition Method Using Peripheral Physiological Signals
Previous Article in Special Issue
Mapping Forest Cover in Northeast China from Chinese HJ-1 Satellite Data Using an Object-Based Algorithm
Article Menu
Issue 2 (January-2) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sensors 2019, 19(2), 430;

Spatial and Temporal Variation of Drought Based on Satellite Derived Vegetation Condition Index in Nepal from 1982–2015

Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Department of Environmental Science, Patan Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu 44613, Nepal
École Supérieure d’Amenagement du Territoire, Université Laval, 1628 Pavillon Savard, Université Laval, Québec City, QC G1K7P4, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 November 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
PDF [3578 KB, uploaded 21 January 2019]


Identification of drought is essential for many environmental and agricultural applications. To further understand drought, this study presented spatial and temporal variations of drought based on satellite derived Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) on annual (Jan–Dec), seasonal monsoon (Jun–Nov) and pre-monsoon (Mar–May) scales from 1982–2015 in Nepal. The Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) obtained from NOAA, AVHRR (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) and climate data from meteorological stations were used. VCI was used to grade the drought, and the Mann–Kendall test and linear trend analysis were conducted to examine drought trends and the Pearson correlation between VCI and climatic factors (i.e., temperature and precipitation) was also acquired. The results identified that severe drought was identified in 1982, 1984, 1985 and 2000 on all time scales. However, VCI has increased at the rate of 1.14 yr−1 (p = 0.04), 1.31 yr−1 (p = 0.03) and 0.77 yr−1 (p = 0.77) on the annual, seasonal monsoon and pre-monsoon scales, respectively. These increased VCIs indicated decreases in drought. However, spatially, increased trends of drought were also found in some regions in Nepal. For instance, northern areas mainly in the Trans-Himalayan regions identified severe drought. The foothills and the lowlands of Terai (southern Nepal) experienced normal VCI, i.e., no drought. Similarly, the Anomaly Vegetation Condition Index (AVCI) was mostly negative before 2000 which indicated deficient soil moisture. The exceedance probability analysis results on the annual time scale showed that there was a 20% chance of occurring severe drought (VCI ≤ 35%) and a 35% chance of occurring normal drought (35% ≤ VCI ≤ 50%) in Nepal. Drought was also linked with climates in which temperature on the annual and seasonal monsoon scales was significant and positively correlated with VCI. Drought occurrence and trends in Nepal need to be further studied for comprehensive information and understanding. View Full-Text
Keywords: VCI; drought; exceedance probability; climate; Nepal VCI; drought; exceedance probability; climate; Nepal

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Baniya, B.; Tang, Q.; Xu, X.; Haile, G.G.; Chhipi-Shrestha, G. Spatial and Temporal Variation of Drought Based on Satellite Derived Vegetation Condition Index in Nepal from 1982–2015. Sensors 2019, 19, 430.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sensors EISSN 1424-8220 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top