Next Article in Journal
Ground Truth of Passive Microwave Radiative Transfer on Vegetated Land Surfaces
Previous Article in Journal
Identification of Hazard and Risk for Glacial Lakes in the Nepal Himalaya Using Satellite Imagery from 2000–2015
Previous Article in Special Issue
Using Remote-Sensing Environmental and Fishery Data to Map Potential Yellowfin Tuna Habitats in the Tropical Pacific Ocean
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(7), 650;

Suitability Assessment of Satellite-Derived Drought Indices for Mongolian Grassland

Key Laboratory of Digital Earth Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth(RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Olympic Village Science Park, W. Beichen Road, Beijing 100101, China
National Remote Sensing Center, Information and Research Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment (IRIMHE), Ulaanbaatar 15160, Mongolia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yuei-An Liou, Chyi-Tyi Lee, Yuriy Kuleshov, Jean-Pierre Barriot, Chung-Ru Ho, Nicolas Baghdadi and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 14 February 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Earth Observations for a Better Future Earth)
PDF [18472 KB, uploaded 28 June 2017]


In Mongolia, drought is a major natural disaster that can influence and devastate large regions, reduce livestock production, cause economic damage, and accelerate desertification in association with destructive human activities. The objective of this article is to determine the optimal satellite-derived drought indices for accurate and real-time expression of grassland drought in Mongolia. Firstly, an adaptability analysis was performed by comparing nine remote sensing-derived drought indices with reference indicators obtained from field observations using several methods (correlation, consistency percentage (CP), and time-space analysis). The reference information included environmental data, vegetation growth status, and region drought-affected (RDA) information at diverse scales (pixel, county, and region) for three types of land cover (forest steppe, steppe, and desert steppe). Second, a meteorological index (PED), a normalized biomass (NorBio) reference indicator, and the RDA-based drought CP method were adopted for describing Mongolian drought. Our results show that in forest steppe regions the normalized difference water index (NDWI) is most sensitive to NorBio (maximum correlation coefficient (MAX_R): up to 0.92) and RDA (maximum CP is 87%), and is most consistent with RDA spatial distribution. The vegetation health index (VHI) and temperature condition index (TCI) are most correlated with the PED index (MAX_R: 0.75) and soil moisture (MAX_R: 0.58), respectively. In steppe regions, the NDWI is most closely related to soil moisture (MAX_R: 0.69) and the VHI is most related to the PED (MAX_R: 0.76), NorBio (MCC: 0.95), and RDA data (maximum CP is 89%), exhibiting the most consistency with RDA spatial distribution. In desert steppe areas, the vegetation condition index (VCI) correlates best with NorBio (MAX_R: 0.92), soil moisture (MAX_R: 0.61), and RDA spatial distribution, while TCI correlates best with the PED (MAX_R: 0.75) and the RDA data (maximum CP is 79%). The VHI is a combination of constructed VCI and TCI, and can be used instead of them. Finally, the mode method was adopted to identify appropriate drought indices. The best two indices (VHI and NDWI) can be utilized to develop a combination drought model for accurately monitoring and quantifying drought in the future. Additionally, the new framework can be adopted to investigate and analyze the suitability of satellite-derived drought indices and determine the most appropriate index/indices for other countries or areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing-derived indices; suitability assessment; normalized biomass; consistency percentage; spatial consistence; grassland drought; Mongolian; MODIS remote sensing-derived indices; suitability assessment; normalized biomass; consistency percentage; spatial consistence; grassland drought; Mongolian; MODIS

Graphical abstract

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

Chang, S.; Wu, B.; Yan, N.; Davdai, B.; Nasanbat, E. Suitability Assessment of Satellite-Derived Drought Indices for Mongolian Grassland. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 650.

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]
Remote Sens. EISSN 2072-4292 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top